In the wake of Rodriguez saying that the coaches are looking everywhere for a kicker after yet another game in which the kicker contributed to a loss, I thought I'd do a little looking myself.
I went to ESPN's recruiting site and sorted by kickers. I was looking for people who were somewhat local, had decent ratings, and were undeclared. Here's what I found:
- Kyle Brindza (Plymoth, MI) - Unfortunately he's not a good candidate since he's been committed to Notre Dame for months, but I thought it was worth a mention. He's a highly rated kicker (#6 to ESPN) who was a stone's throw from UM and went elsewhere.
- Taylor Zalewski (Orland Park, IL) - He is ranked #13 and gets pretty good comments from the ESPN site. Right now there are no listed schools on his recruiting profile. Seems like a logical candidate.
- Michael Rasmussen (Orlando, FL) - Also not committed to anyone, maybe Rodriguez could work some of that Florida pipeline magic and get this guy, who is rated #15 by ESPN.
- Tyler Wedel (McFarland, WI) - Gets yet another good set of comments from ESPN and at the #21 ranking is the last of the available 3-star recruits. No schools listed under consideration.
I realize the kicker recruiting is a total crap shoot (i.e. Brendon Gibbons and Bryan Wright were both scholarship kickers who couldn't see the field), but we have to do something. It has always been frustrating to me that schools like EMU or even MSU have consistently had better kickers than Michigan.
The secondary is horrible but will gain a year of experience, bring in a couple of recruits, and get Woolfolk back next year. The LB have been bad and losing Mouton will hurt, but Mike Jones and Kenny Demens look like promising starters for next year. Black should be able to slide into Banks' spot next season reasonably well. The only weakness without an obvious development plan is at kicker.
What a game!!! I don't know how many of you got the chance to see the game in person, but it was a great time. I was hoping that Blazefire would stop by the willow tree for some excellent soy ginger filet on a stick, but there will be other games...
After the game, I was listening to the local guys break down some of the scoring and one of them said that Jason Olesnavage's nickname on the team is "Ole Sausage." I thought that was hilarious. I will call him that from now on, and I encourage all of you to do the same. How about that 42 yard kick to start off the year?
Forcier was just as polished and comfortable as he was in the spring game. All of the people who said that the spring game meant nothing were quite incorrect. Watching Shoelace fumble the snap and then take it to the house was a rollercoaster, and he will make some big time plays in the next 4 years.
Notre Dame did better against a good Nevada team than I thought they would. This weekend will be a tough test, but the crowd will be there to help them through. I'm still debating on going up to scalp (unable to find any cheap tix), and I will probably make it a last minute decision. I envy those of you who will get to see it in person. Go Blue!