'14 OT Denzel Ward No Longer Committed
See! We didn't want him anyway!
He wants to play early, right? Well, he'd be coming in with TWO years of experience and competing against our 2012 and 2013 classes.
He'll be back. Just like D.Dawson.
To be fair, at the time a door wasn't left open for a Dawson-like return for Dawson either.
Please do share where this was confirmed by Hoke, because I'm pretty sure that's baseless speculation.
It is an NCAA violation for Hoke to talk about recruits specifically before signing day. Thomas Wilcher, Dawson's coach, and a former Michigan player, said as much after Dawson decommitted, though.
Will find an adequate replacement. Good luck to him.
I realize fans from all schools always say this but....who cares. This is the least important need in our recruiting right now due to our previous years' line hauls and there are many linemen in the 2014 class. All signs point to Ward being a 2-3 project anyways. This one does not hurt us.
Don't be foolish. This hurts a little. Does it break us? Of course not. But the kid is brining in some big time offers from major programs and he's only been playing for a couple years. The sky is the limit for him. He made a decision to quick with all the excitement. Would still like to see him as part of our class.
As Webb pointed out, Michigan pulled the offer. I think we have other targets above him at this point. He may be good, but he's a long ways away from me being comfortable with him as a top ranked tackle recruit.
reminds me a lot of Anthony Lalota. Not saying he'll have the same outcome, but limited data points always kinda concern me. But, I'm certainly not saying that I'm glad he's gone or anything stupid like that.
limited data points always kinda concern me
Limited data is limited.
Indeed. Alex Bars, Mason Cole, Viane Talamaivao, Jamarco Jones, and Andy Bauer would be nice consolation. Bauer might be tough to land, but we'll definitely be fine.
Of those guys you listed, Mason Cole is at the top of my wish list. In addition to his own talent, I hear he has some friends we may be interested in.
We should have a decent shot at landing him, especially if we pursue the whole teammate thing. Bauer is the top of my wish list as an individual, though, partly from watching him, and partly from him being the top of Bama and LSU's wish list too. But with Florida landing two top 2014 tackles already, and other local guys out there for LSU and Bama like Cam Robinson and Orlando Brown, guys like Bauer and Cole, and maybe even Damian Prince could be in play for us.
Don't forget Tommy Doles.
It would hurt more if we didn't have two stellar offensive line classes ahead of him.
If we had Ohio's depth chart? Yes this would be a big blow.
But with our current depth chart, AAAND with Taylor Lewan coming back for an additional year, it's so early that the fan-base shouldn't be heartbroken about this.
Good luck to Denzel.
I'd love to see him as part of this class, but given Hoke's record for recruiting, we'll be just fine. It sucked losing Ty Issac and Treadwell, but we did fine recruiting without them as well. Its a bummer, but not unrecoverable.
I wish the kid luck, for sure.
We never actually had Isaac and Treadwell... but I agree, if there is a position that Hoke has shown an ability to recruit, it's the OL.
Is it alright if I feel like "meh". I mean I really really liked his upside, but it's still really early, so finding a replacement shouldn't be too difficult. And I think if there's one place we can handle a decommit it's at the OL. Does anyone know if Sam's phrasing acutally means that UM dropped him because of the whole moving unexpectedly to FL and visiting UF all the time?
He may turn out to be a fine player. There are a lot of other OL out there in the class of 2014 who also will turn out to be fine players. The coaches now know that they have to find one more of them, and they have 12+ months to do it. Not a big deal.
Michael Ferns is now our only 2014 recruit. OMG HOKE CAN'T KEEP UP WITH URBAN WE TOTALLY SUCK!!!!!!!!
Michael Ferns committed? Was this ever posted on the board?!
Do decommits come in pairs DO DECOMMITS COME IN PAIRS???
And if we buckle up for commitments, what do we do for this?????
Taking off our pants seems to be the most logical thing to do for this.
No surprise, really. We've got so many top tackle prospects ahead of him it wouldn't surprise me if he was looking around for early playing time. Still, a lot can happen between now and next NSD.
Shocked, blindsided, uprooted, hurt, taken off guard, never saw it coming, blown away, jarred, jolted, in awe, surprised. Obviously these are my thoughts after he switched schools to Florida.
But, it's much better to have this happen now than a year from now. There's plenty of time to replace him with a good player in the 2014 class. The best of luck to him.
probably went down with his move to FL. Hoke definitely wants a strong beachhead in Chicago and Ward helped that cause along with raw talent.. Now he's just raw talent.
He'll find a BCS program. We'll find another tackle.
Good to go ahead and get it out the way now. We're good.
I think we all saw this coming. Sure, it's possible to get him back in the fold; however, I agree that this particular loss isn't a huge deal. There are lots of good OL for '14, and the staff has plenty of time to identify them and get them on campus.
If there's one area of the team that I feel supremely confident in when it comes to this staff's ability to recruit, it is the OL. Second place would be LB.
we lost half of our 2014 class. Impeach Hoke!!!!
Sam Webb says it was Michigan's call - seems like the door "isn't open for a Dawson-like return."
Ward is a huge raw athlete, but I wonder if he saw the classes ahead of him and realized that he'd likely spend his first couple of years developing while watching the linemen from '12 and '13 play on Saturdays. He doesn't seem like the type that you plug in as a RS frosh, but he could turn into a pretty great player after two or three years of coaching.
He's the type of high risk/high reward player that we should be taking now that we have a lot of blue chips moving into the OL in the coming year. Hopefully he'll look around and decide later that Michigan is the best fit.
Or maybe he went to the U-A Combine, met with some recruits, found out what you get when you visit schools like Ole Miss and wanted out. Lucky for him, Michigan gave him the out.
I really wonder what kind of counsel he's getting, with the desire for early playing time. I mean, Kalis, who is mean, and big, and polished, and as ready as any OL recruit to come in, still spent a year as a redshirt. And the reality is that he won't get early PT at any of the really good schools . . . I'm sure (without checking) that Ohio, and USC, and Alabama, and Texas, and Florida, and ND, don't make a regular practice of starting freshmen on the OL. The other thing is that at Michigan, the mantra has been, "you compete every week, and there are no guarantees for PT." Mattison is really strong on this, but so are all the coaches. If you're n.ot good enough to beat out the guys ahead of you, well, you shouldn't play
The people around him are probably telling him what he wants to hear, that he can go in and get on the field early. I've learned in coaching that a lot of parents and family members have very inflated senses of what their family members are capable of accomplishing. It's tough for a 16- or 17-year-old kid to look at himslf objectively and realize that he probably needs a few years of development.
If I remember one of the first articles about him looking around had quotes along the lines of 'I'm committed to UM, but my parents want me to look around and they're in charge.'
first meeting with Jake Long.
"He’s just standing there, and he’s a very large individual,” Lewan said. “I had my shoulder pads on and he was still wider than me. It was a little bit ridiculous.”
That was a future first-rounder. How far away is the average highly regarded HS player?
With my kids in football, soccer, baseball, and basketball, I see this all the time. (parents et al with an inflated sense of their kid's ability.) Recently, my wife was upset that our son wasn't seeing the court, and I had to tell her, "the coaches will put the best players on the floor. . . if he deserves to play, he'll play." I've talked to enough guys who have played college ball to understand there are a lot more guys on the practice squad than there ever are on the field, and that only truly elite, driven, gifted players are going to see the field in D-1.
The last thing I would say to anyone, including Ward, is "good riddance." However, I am glad that Hoke and Beilein both stress "team first," and don't tolerate prima donnas. It has often been debated here at mgoblog what the "cost" of winning is. (see: posts regarding Harbaugh.) I am firmly in the camp of doing things the right way, not cheating, and not showing favoritism. The implication is that we don't want anyone like Terrell Pryor who expects special favors. I'm thrilled to have coaches who say, "If you earn playing time, you'll get playing time."
We barely knew ya.
Sam Webb just tweeted that he is "hearing it was Michigan's choice and did not leave the door open for a Dawson-like return"
As mentioned, better now than this time next year. I can't imagine the staff will have a hard time finding a quality OL to fill the spot (perhaps with lower cieling, but quality nonetheless).
This makes sense..seemed like this was trending negatively for the good guys.. oh well
It took him this long. Saw this one coming from a mile away
...but he's 6'9", so it's kind of irrelevant.
When he committed, I concluded that 6'9 was OK since he has decent knee bend.
Now that he decomitted, I'm certain that his height will prevent him from being a good lineman....unless he somehow recommits.
That's it. I'm getting drunk.
I'd rather take a less highly touted kid who wants to be at Michigan.
Edit: Can't believe I got downvoted for this. What is this blog coming to.
Someone disagrees with you. What the hell is wrong with that? What's this blog coming to?
There's a difference between debate and wanting to make a comment you don't like disappear.........
Good point, but more of an argument for the old point system. And anybody can still view the comments anyway. Also if someone agrees, then hooray! It comes back!
I, like most people, fail to see how others can disagree with me.
Unless you are totally off the wall, there are people who agree with you, as well as poor misguided souls who disagree.
We've shown we can recruit OLmen and if he's moving to FL, and to a Gator pipeline...it may not be worth the trouble.
I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up at Auburn with Diamond.
You could see this coming miles away, even when he committed. It was done too hastily in the first place.
Am I the only one that wonders how he ended up at IMG Academy in Florida? This seems SECish to me.
The whole thing seems odd to me. And sounds very expensive.
I was curious as to how much a year cost at the IMG academy.
It's $43,800K/yr for the 'performance' program and boarding. $31, 085 without boarding. Lots of add-ons that can bump up your tuition as well.
My guess is that he's paying very little or nothing at all to attend this school. That's how private high schools work. Athletes get "academic scholarships" to come play, regardless of their academic abilities.
Im sure the New meme will be "hoke can't close on 6'10 offensive linemen one year before signing day"
With only 18 scholarships for next year, we must be careful on who we recruit. Wasting time, money and effort on players who potentially could decommit down the road would be a huge setback for the recruiting class. Good call by the coaches IMO to take the safe route.
That number of 18 scholarships will surely increase to 20+. We don't really have to be any more careful with whom we recruit than in any other year.
I would rather have him than not, but to me this isn't much of a loss. Sounds like the main attraction with him was his size and potential. For me that always translates as a big unknown -- some chance that he could become great and some chance that he won't pan out at all. (We've all seen many cases of that, haven't we?) In other words, much less certainty than our other OL recruits the past two years, even if that position has a high level of uncertainty.
Having said that, with all of the line talent stockpiled, I do think it makes sense to go after a high-risk/high-return kid because we can afford a miss. Still, the bottom line on a recruit like this is there's a good chance he won't pan out.
Two years ago this would bother me. Today, not so much. He was a project of sorts and the way we've been recruiting the O-line it just doesn't bother me. Best of luck to the kid, stay down south.
this is not surprising in the least
Writing was on the wall for this one. Good luck to him.
I never get worried about kids committing/decommitting until the year they actual can formally commit. He may well return to the fold, or go somewhere else. Everyone involved will survive.
Everyone on twitter thought he wasnt going to last very long as soon as he moved to FL. I'm salty because we get these guys early like Ward, Conley before anyone knows their abilities. The kids jump to commit then decommit after other options come available. Just stop commiting early then decommiting. I read he is still considering Michigan, does he know Michigan closed the door?
It's not that easy. Sometimes kids feel like they need to commit early so they can reserve a spot. And they might be right. Michigan takes advantage of the same thing (Reon Dawson, Dan Samuelson, etc.), so it's not like it hurts us any more than other teams.
Ahhh I gotcha, but also don't you think that if Michigan is offering you other schools won't come calling? I mean its one thing to be a Michigan fan are you life like Morris and then commit so early. But, if you are like Ward and a huge D1 school offers, isnt it better to wait a bit before jumping on board? Its hard to believe that a prospect is only going to get a Michigan offer and others wont take notice. Just sayin.
Perhaps, but if you're a 16- or 17-year-old kid who just took up football, and suddenly you get an offer from Michigan...might you not think "Hey, this is as good as it gets. I can be a star and get on TV and wear a Michigan helmet!" As that excitement fades away, kids start to realize that perhaps they're more desired than they originally thought.
Faulty logic. Michigan really is as good as it gets. It's been proven.
FAHK I would give my soul to wear that helmet and play in a game. Too bad I gave it up for a pack of smokes back in '99
Magnus, your argument is inherently flawed. You are assuming that Michigan is not the center of all that is good. It's like saying that Kate Upton asks you to hook up, then looking around for a better option. That is not rational.
Let me frame it another way:
I'm an amateur blogger. If Grantland offered me a gig writing for them, I would probably jump on it. Lots of traffic, other good writers, FAME, FORTUNE!!!!
Then a month later, ESPN offers me a gig. Or Sports Illustrated. Now suddenly I'm re-evaluating whether I want to be writing for Grantland anymore.
I think Grantland is the better bet here. I'm pretty sure ESPN or Sports Illustrated have never had a Wire or Chapelle Show sketch bracket poll...
I mean, I read Grantland more than ESPN.com or SI.com, but they're still the name brands of sports journalism.
No sad face here. I wish Ward good luck, but I trust the coaching staff to make correct decisions. If they pulled the offer, it was for a good reason.
Brady Hoke is proving that he can recruit well, and he has the full support of the Michigan Machine to give him leverage with the region's coaches. The cupboard will be well-stocked, and the "loss" of Denzel Ward isn't going to make much of a difference.
but at least this is happening now. I kind of feel bad for the kid in a way. I mean, if it was really UM's decision to pull the offer for him taking visits, to think he could have just taken his time to determine where he really wanted to go before making his decision and this wouldn't be an issue.
I'm pretty far removed from 17 years of age, but I do remember that making difficult life decisions at that time wasn't one of my strengths. In fact, every decision I made at that time was based soley on one thing...instant gratification, that's all that mattered.
I know there is a purpose for the policy the coaches have adopted, but I will still feel bad for kids who make a hasty decision that isn't completely thought out and end up losing an opportunity to either a) visit other schools or b) miss out on attending a school you would have chosen because you wanted to make sure you made the right choice and visited another campus and your offer got pulled.
I don't know, maybe I'm just to sympathetic when it comes to teenagers because I remember what a mess I was during those years. Anyway, good luck to the kid.
You never like to see these things happen, and we don't know the circumstances behind it happening. Michigan will move on. Best of luck to him.
as opposed to next January. He's a offensive lineman. We're Michigan. I've never known us to have trouble recruiting offensive linemen when we actively try. And we'll be fine again.
Seems odd if they don't let him recommit as he hasn't even finished his Junior year. Give him time and maybe he would come back but oh well.
...but Ward seemed to have a wandering eye. Better to be the dumper than the dumpee!
I concluded he wouldn't be part of the class. Cool first name, though.
Just to let it be known the Michigan coaches still told me I have my offer and they're still recruiting me. It was my decision to part ways
He seems very intent on letting everyone know he was the one that decommitted this morning, when UM insiders are saying the staff informed him last night he was being dropped.
Yea it's the whole who broke up first. I'm not sure how he would even qualify now with how that "school" operates.
Don't insiders have to get their info from the kids until after signing day though?
"You can't fire me, I quit"
I think we all knew this was going to happen and the coaches may have gotten a bad vibe from him, or some new information came up to lead them to pull their offer. I'm sure eh'll do just fine, especially with a year at IMG.
Given our epic OL haul of the past 2 years, and that '14 signing day is over a year away, I just can't summon the effort to care at all about this.
Good luck to him whever he goes, but I doubt this ends up hurting us in the long run. He was a project, no doubt, we have had great OL hauls the past two years, and we have plenty of time to find a top level OL.
have an issue with pad level. Unless of course he recommits. In which case he will again be a raw man-child talent and soon-to-be all american.
I know you're joking here, but I really think Ward has the athleticism and knee bend to succeed at the next level, despite his height. Dan Skipper (thought I realize is listed at 6'10") does not, in my opinion.
As many others have already stated we will be absolutely fine. Hope he finds the school that's right for him.
You probably don't generally enter this place knowing where you are going to college. Absurd this is allowed.
In Denzel's own words (per Mark Snyder's write-up):
"I am no longer a commit to the University of Michigan, I really appreciate the love from there but I just want to make the best decision"
It's a huge decision and I don't think anyone can fault him for wanting to make the best one for his own purposes. Best of luck to Denzel Ward.
If there's one thing I'm not worried about it's OL recruiting. The good news is this happened early, so we can focus on others. I think we'll bring in Alex Bars, Tommy Doles, and 2 other good players. So I'm not too worried about it to be honest.