Tuesday Recruitin' Attempts To Speak DaCoachO

Tuesday Recruitin' Attempts To Speak DaCoachO Comment Count

Ace May 9th, 2017 at 2:44 PM

Hey: Joe

Four-star FL QB Joe Milton's commitment (Hello post here) has been followed by the usual post-pledge scouting reports. Scout:

Milton also does a good job of transferring weight and stepping into his throws. He has packed on solid mass over the past year, and measures in at roughly 6-foot-5 when lacing up the cleats. He can continue to work on his accuracy on some of his intermediate throws, but flashes great ball placement when extending the field with the deep ball.

The Central Florida native is also comfortable when throwing on the run. Milton's fleet-footed style allows him to dissect defenses with his legs, but he also does a nice job of keeping his eyes locked down the field in hopes of utilizing his arm first.


After completing just 46% of his passes as a junior, unfortunately the stigma of being inaccurate is going to be there for Milton. Farrell agrees that it’s something that needs to be dealt with but doesn’t believe it will be a long-term issue for the big QB.

“He’s going to have to be a little bit more less reliant on his arm,” Farrell explained. “His teams throws the ball down field a lot because that’s what he’s comfortable doing. On short and intermediate passes after seeing him in camps this spring and watching him on film, he’s not as comfortable with touch. He loves slinging the ball down the field and he loves showing off that big arm.

Via a Freep interview with Milton's high school coach, Pep Hamilton provides a player comp:

“He got in contact with and me and said, ‘Coach, tell me about this kid, I love him,’” Hayes recalled. “He always talks about how he reminds him of Steve McNair. I thought that was pretty big. Coach Hamilton may have had the job one week and we’ve been in constant contact since he’s had the job.”

Milton's commitment gives Michigan a connection to one of the top prospects in the 2019 class. As TMI's Brice Marich notes, he's a cousin of Palm Beach Central cornerback Akeem Dent, who's ranked as the #6 overall player in the 2019 class by 247 and boasts an offer sheet to match. Incidentally, Michigan offered Dent on Friday.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]


Tuesday Recruitin' Makes Summer Plans

Tuesday Recruitin' Makes Summer Plans Comment Count

Ace May 2nd, 2017 at 12:09 PM

Busy Month Ahead?

We've covered the distinct possibility of Michigan adding quarterbacks Joe Milton and Tyler Shough to the 2018 class this month. 247's Steve Lorenz went over a few more potential additions in his post on May's top recruiting storylines:

There are a handful of heavy Michigan leans out there who could decide at any time, with Traverse City (MI) West four-star offensive lineman Ryan Hayes being among them. Grand Rapids (MI) four-star Jalen Mayfield is also sitting out there and still appears to be a heavy, heavy Michigan lean. Jersey City four-star Shayne Simon has mentioned shutting things down early, although that could easily change.

Hayes and Mayfield both appear to be near-locks to end up in the class sooner or later. Simon, a S/OLB prospect who'd probably be a VIPER at Michigan, has several top programs in the mix; he ran down his extensive spring visit tour—Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, and Stanford—for 247's Steve Wiltfong. He had high praise for all of them, but his crystal ball reads 100% for Michigan, and that includes picks from both Steves. He maintained he has no current timeline for a decision, however.

Another top target whose recruitment may come to a close in the near future is four-star NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, who has named four finalists—Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin—and is eyeing a summer decision, likely in July, per Scout's Brian Dohn. Ruckert's choice is expected to come down to Michigan or OSU; the Buckeyes currently have all nine picks on his crystal ball.

Four-star PA WR Jahan Dotson is also nearing a decision after narrowing his options to Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, per Wiltfong. The Nittany Lions currently hold the edge after a recent visit but Michigan will get a visit this month to make an impression. They have a potential edge; Dotson is originally from New Jersey:

When Dotson returns to Michigan it will be his first time in Ann Arbor since last year.

“Michigan they have a big New Jersey connection and Coach Partridge he’s been close to me so that’s been a good connection for me. Big stadium, there’s a lot of people and the campus is in town and that’s cool.”

It should be a busy month.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]


Hello From The Future: Otis Reese

Hello From The Future: Otis Reese Comment Count

Ace June 19th, 2016 at 3:55 PM

omg half-shirtless

While teammate Aubrey Solomon's commitment came as a pleasant surprise, four-star Leesburg (GA) Lee County S/OLB Otis Reese had already declared Michigan his leader heading into this weekend before pulling the trigger yesterday. Reese put Michigan on top as soon as he added an offer in April; two subsequent first-hand interactions with the coaches, first at the Leesburg satellite camp and then at this weekend's Under The Lights camp, proved enough to earn his commitment:

"I think this was a pretty easy decision for me," he said after pledging to the staff. "The coaches here have treated me like family since they offered and spending time with them when they came to our school gave me a great foundation to build off of with them. Once I got here and experienced things a little bit more, I wanted to make it official." 

Reese is the fourth commit in the 2018 class, joining Springfield (OH) teammates Leonard Taylor and Antwuan Johnson and fellow Georgian Jalil Irvin.


Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4* S NR S NR S 4*, 92, #11 S,
#117 Ovr
4*, #11 S,
#117 Ovr

Only 247 has released ordered 2018 rankings, and they have Reese sitting just outside their top 100. At worst, Scout has him in the same range—they've given early four- or five-star ratings to 122 prospects in the class. Rivals didn't include Reese in their initial, unordered top 100, which came out in mid-April.

Reese is listed by all four sites at 6'2" and 190-195 pounds. While he's regarded as a safety prospect, he's got the frame to play outside linebacker, and according to 247's Steve Lorenz Michigan plans to use him in the same role (well, defensive role) Jabrill Peppers will play this fall:

While he's currently listed as a safety in our database, we're told that Michigan actually likes him at the SAM linebacker spot and that both Don Brown and Chris Partridge love his game. Remember, Michigan held a satellite camp at Leesburg early on in the month, so they were able to get a great look at Reese and reportedly loved what they saw out of him. 

As you'll see on his film, Reese already plays a similar role in high school; he spends a lot of time playing in the box or over the slot.


Most of what's out there on Reese comes from Scout's Southeast analyst Chad Simmons. Reese's Scout profile features an extensive sophomore evaluation:


SOPHOMORE EVAL: Reese is a physical football player. He played varsity as a freshman and has improved regularly since. His size has stood out from the beginning, and by the time he reaches college, he may be playing inside the box on a regular basis as a linebacker. He is a real field general and he is used in coverage, in run support, and he blitzes off the edge as well. He is a little tight in the hips and he can improve in coverage. At his best when coming down hill in attack mode. He can close well and he makes solid tackles.


  • Blitzing Ability
  • Closing Speed
  • Frame
  • Size
  • Tackling Ability

Areas to Improve

  • Backpedal Quickness
  • Hip Flexibility

That sounds like a player tailor-made for the SAM in Don Brown's defense. Simmons added some more details following Reese's commitment:

What Reese is, is a versatile football player.  You will see him in coverage one play, then he is lined up in the box chasing a running back down backside, and on the next play he is blitzing the quarterback.  He is a football player who has been on the Scout radar since his freshman season.  He has a great frame, and he is still growing, so projecting where he ends up playing at Michigan could go back and forth between safety and linebacker.  He has a nose for the football.  He is exceptional in blitz packages and he loves to come downhill and play physical.  He looks most natural when moving north-south and when playing inside the box.  In coverage, he is solid, but that is an area he can improve on.  Reese can improve his feet, hips and reaction to receivers when asked to cover.  He has a great body, great frame and the best football is ahead of him.  He loves to compete, he loves to learn, and he is going to play hard on the field.

In addition to sounding like a Don Brown SAM, he sounds like a Harbaugh guy.

Back in February, 247's Kipp Adams identified Reese as one of the top underclassmen in Georgia, and included a freshman and sophomore stat lines that show Reese's versatility:

The next big prospect out of Lee County is 2018 hybrid safety Otis Reese. Reese, at 6-2, 195, reports offers from Troy, Central Michigan, and Louisville, with interest from Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee. He had 55 tackles, four sacks, five tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hurries and four pass breakups as a freshman, and 52 tackles, six sacks, and seven tackles for loss during his sophomore season. Over the next two years, Reese should grow into a stout strong safety who can enforce the middle of the field.

That's impressive all-around production for an underclassman.


Reese holds offers from Central Michigan, Louisville, LSU, Troy, and UCLA. He camped at Alabama and Georgia but hasn't landed offers from them yet; several other top programs, including Auburn, Clemson, and Ohio State, showed interest. Michigan got a big leg up in his recruitment by being the first major program to offer him.


None listed.


Sophomore highlights:

Freshman highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.


At the moment, it looks like Reese will have a clear path to the field at SAM as soon as he steps on campus. Jabrill Peppers will almost certainly be off to the NFL by the time Reese arrives in 2018, and if Khaleke Hudson is needed at strong safety—which looks to be the case—then there isn't another player on the roster who fits the role as well as Reese. Of course, Michigan hasn't come close to wrapping up the 2017 class; safety commit J'Marick Woods has a similar build and the coaches are expected to take a couple more safety-types. It's hard to imagine Reese won't have some competition by the time he gets to Ann Arbor.


It has four players in it, and will presumably add many more. Here's the class, which is now fourth on the 247 Composite team rankings, as it currently stands:


Hello: Aubrey Solomon

Hello: Aubrey Solomon Comment Count

Ace June 18th, 2016 at 5:10 PM

[Photo: Chris Nee/247]

Before showing up to Ann Arbor for Michigan's big camp weekend, four-star Leesburg (GA) Lee County DT Aubrey Solomon was considered a Georgia lean with strong mutual interest in the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Ole Miss. Solomon's commitment today, unlike that of 2018 teammate Otis Reese, came out of the blue. Just look at his Twitter feed, which is SEC upon SEC upon SEC until this.

This coaching staff is rather good at recruiting. Yes, they got a head start with the Leesburg satellite camp, but this still came as a huge surprise.

Solomon helps fill a significant need at defensive tackle; he's the second DT in the 2017 class, joining in-state three-star Phil Paea, and the 15th total commit.


Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #9 DT,
#127 Ovr
4*, #4 DT,
#91 Ovr
4*, 84, #6 DT,
#61 Ovr
4*, 91, #14 DT,
#207 Ovr
4*, #6 DT,
#94 Ovr

While all four services have Solomon solidly in the four-star range, there's a bit of a split. ESPN is particularly bullish—as is Rivals when you go by position rankings—while Scout and especially 247 aren't quite as high on him.

He is unquestionably large. Scout, ESPN, and 247 all list him at 6'3" and 300-305 pounds. Rivals has what looks like an outdated listing of 6'4", 287.


There's not quite as much scouting as I expected out there for a recruit with Solomon's rankings and offer sheet. What's out there, however, is impessive.

Solomon first emerged on the radar as a freshman who very much did not look like a freshman at the 2014 RCS Atlanta camp. Rivals's Josh Helmholdt named him one of the top underclassmen in attendance:

The 6-foot-3, 279-pound Solomon immediately caught our attention at the beginning of camp from a physical standpoint. There was a shock when he said he was still 15 years old and just a freshman. His play in one-on-ones created further intrigue as he had no trouble battling with the top interior offensive linemen from a strength standpoint. There are some technical issues to shore up, but nothing that cannot be fixed and plenty of physical gifts that cannot be taught.

247's Chris Nee scouted Solomon the following February at the Valdosta MVP Camp, and from his vantage point it sounds like Solomon made strides with his technique in the interim:

DT Aubrey Solomon - A 2017 defensive tackle from Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County who was very impressive on the day. He could have easily taken home defensive line MVP honors as well. A big, physical defender in the middle. Solomon exhibited the ability to play with leverage, drive his blocker off the spot, and finish the play. He has good quickness for a big man and was very active with his hands at keeping blockers off-balance. He reports multiple early offers.

Scout's Chad Simmons saw him at the same event and was similarly impressed:

Great frame at 6-3, 305 pounds and he does a great job of using his size and power to press offensive linemen and close the distance. Has the lateral quickness to play down the line verses high level competition.

Rivals's Woody Wommack saw Solomon in a game setting last fall, and while he got tempo'd a bit he still managed to show his potential:

Class of 2017 Rivals100 defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon looks like the real deal and was very impressive in Friday's game, even though his team took the loss. Solomon is a legit 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds with very little bad weight, and he was in the backfield all night. Ultimately, Colquitt's no-huddle offense seemed to wear him down as the night went along, but his conditioning should only improve as his career moves along. Solomon, who favors Georgia, Florida and Auburn early on in his recruitment, will be one of the most sought-after defensive linemen in his class.

ESPN's evaluation focuses quite a bit on technique, repeatedly noting that Soloman has to develop consistency—like many of their reports, "can" "shows" and "flashes" all show up often. While the hedging takes away some of the impact, ESPN ranks him higher than anyone else, and there's a lot to like if he puts it all together:

Can fire off and capable at times of disrupting with quick penetration. Can be stout as well when he wins with quickness and leverage, flashing ability to explode out and uncoil at contact. Pads can quickly rise at times and when do can give ground and needs to work on taking on the double team. Does good job of bringing his hands, but needs to improve upper body strength and do better job of extending and creating separation and work to get off blocks quicker at times.

Can quickly get off the ball and get up-field and disrupt, flashing an effective club and swim. Shows flashes of attacking half-man and working a rip, but can look to lean on the swim move and if doesn't win with initial move can get stalled and needs to continue to develop pass rush arsenal. Has power to drive blockers back and collapse the pocket with bull rush when stays lows, but needs to work to clear and finish. Has tools to be disruptive interior rusher, but needs to continue to refine and be more consistent.

They conclude he can be a "very good, if not excellent Power-5 DT," most likely as a three-tech who needs a little time to develop.

Scout's free evaluation is one of the better ones I've read on a defensive tackle; it puts the technique issues in the context of his overall physical ability:


An athletic defensive lineman who knows how to get off the ball. He is most effective with his quickness. He has good anticipation and he reacts quickly in the trenches. Really gets up the field. Can make plays in the backfield. Gets consistent penetration. Can use his hands, but needs to improve that, and his moves to counter offensive linemen. When he struggles, he tends to play high, so he can work on bettering his pad level. Just a quick defensive lineman who can make plays. Plays hard and plays fast for a guy his size.


  • Athleticism
  • Lateral Range
  • Quickness off Ball
  • Suddenness

Areas to Improve

  • Pad Level

That's a 305-pound high school defensive tackle with "lateral range" and "suddenness" as strengths. I very much like the sound of that.


Solomon holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State, UNC, Ohio State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and USC. I probably don't need to tell you that is an excellent list.


Rivals completely destroyed the functionality of their database so I don't have as much here as usual. Lee County also features fellow new Michigan commit Otis Reese.


None that I could find.


Solomon's Scout profile lists a verified 40 time of 5.47, which gets zero FAKEs. With DTs, short-range quickness and agility is much more important than running 40 yards fast in a straight line. In that regard, Solomon looks quite good.


Junior highlights:

Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.


Michigan will have to replace Ryan Glasgow, Chris Wormley (expected to play 3-tech this year), and possibly even Mo Hurst after this season, which will provide ample opportunity for freshmen to find a way onto the field. Solomon has that potential if he's technically sound enough; if he's not, he should quickly find his way into the rotation after a redshirt year, and he's got the look of a multi-year starter with NFL potential.


Michigan can probably use another DT or two in the class in addition to Solomon and Paea, but Solomon's commitment makes that need far less dire. The 2017 class is now up to 15 commits, and that number is expected to get into the mid-to-upper 20s by Signing Day. Positions of need include offensive linemen of all sorts, WR, TE, SDE, CB, and S.

I'll leave this here:

Here's the class as it currently stands:


Unverified Voracity Ditches Divisions

Unverified Voracity Ditches Divisions Comment Count

Brian June 14th, 2016 at 1:04 PM

Doing a thing tomorrow. I'm speaking at the UM Club of Livingston County's scholarship fundraiser. Thing is in Brighton, costs 25 bucks if you're not a member and 20 if you are. They promise me a projector with which to dazzle* and amaze** with. It's for a good cause, come on out.

*[you keep saying that word]

**[you also keep saying that word]


[Eric Upchurch]

More satellite stuff. As the camp season moves along and more and more people see Harbaugh in action the tone of media coverage seems to have shifted. Harbaugh shows up, has an enthusiasm unknown to mankind, works his ass off in drills, and people in attendance go "huh." Marc Tracy has a NYT article that goes over the Rutgers camp experience in some detail, and Harbaugh impressed some people in Houston.

Also Ohio. The Vindicator:

His speech was part instructional of what was about to happen on the practice field and part old-fashioned church revival, with football being the religion this day for young men that came as far away as Canada.

Harbaugh then spent the next three hours working a style that displays a boyish love of his job. The drills he led were mainly a mix of running tests in which he crowned a champion at the end of each, loudly announcing the young man’s name into a microphone that fit his hand like a glove.

The more people who go to these things, the more of them find out that Harbaugh seems to mean what he says when he talks about spreading football. That's not to say there isn't another motive, but Harbaugh isn't teaching a bunch of middle-schoolers because he thinks there will be recruiting payoffs.

Marshall moves. Lawrence Marshall was at SMSB, observing events. Sam Webb flagged him down for an interview and got some actual news: Marshall is 270 and no longer on the weakside.

"I play in the six-technique, so I play in front of the tight end more,” he said.  “I love that. I feel like a tight end can't block me. If the tight end is blocking me I'm doing something wrong. That's all I've got to say about that."

Terminology changes over and over again and regimes move in and out; around here that means he's moved from WDE to SDE. That leaves just Chase Winovich and Reuben Jones amongst veteran options at WDE and thus implies that Taco Charlton is going to move back to the weakside and start. (He played SDE in the Ford Field practice and the spring game.) That'll probably mean Chris Wormley, an unparalleled tight end obliterator, will go back to SDE. Your other option there is Rashan Gary. So… Marshall probably has another year to prep before serious playing time as an upperclassman. An approximate three deep on the line:

Chris Wormley Ryan Glasgow Maurice Hurst Taco Charlton
Rashan Gary Bryan Mone Matt Godin Chase Winovich
Lawrence Marshall Hurst Wormley/Gary Reuben Jones

That could work out okay.

Marshall also discussed some of the reasons it seems like he's been in the doghouse since his arrival, claiming that his work ethic "has tremendously improved from my freshman and sophomore years." Hitting 270 is solid evidence of that.

Hudson deployment. From Penn Live:

"I think as soon as I get there, I'm going to have an impact on the team," Hudson said. "I'll be at strong safety my first year, and then my second year, they're going to be putting me on offense and giving me some plays and stuff.

When Hudson committed I'd assumed he was ticketed for the nickel spot Peppers was at last year; his "LB" spot this year is probably going to look pretty similar except with more QB decapitation. Now, it seems like there are several options there in 2017 and beyond, and few at safety. Hudson will probably be a true safety for most of his career.

A SEC schedule solution that's pretty great. Jason Kirk and Bill Connelly propose a shift away from divisions in the SEC, which the Big 12 has enabled by agitating for a championship game despite having only ten teams. The upshot is that everyone gets three permanent rivals and then plays the rest of the league every other year. They've tweaked it so the schedules are balanced for the current state of college football, and while there will be some drift things tend to remain the way they are.

A Big Ten version is possible, but the proposal above is aimed at an eight-game conference schedule; the Big Ten has gone to nine. An attempt at three permanent rivals all the same has some goofy matchups:

non-negotiable in italics

Team Permanent opponents
Indiana Purdue Illinois NW
Illinois Northwestern IU Nebraska
Iowa Minnesota Wisconsin Nebraska
Maryland Rutgers PSU MSU
Minnesota Iowa Wisconsin Michigan
Michigan MSU OSU Minnesota
MSU Michigan Maryland Purdue
Nebraska Iowa Wisconsin Illinois
Northwestern Illinois IU PU
OSU PSU Michigan Rutgers
PSU OSU Rutgers MD
Rutgers Maryland PSU OSU
Purdue Indiana Northwestern MSU
Wisconsin Iowa Minnesota Nebraska

Unlike the SEC it's very hard to create these matchups with any semblance of even-ness. Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, and Northwestern are all but impossible to split up, and consistently bad. Minnesota gets it in the eye. Rutgers too.

Even so I like the idea of having relatively balanced schedules for everyone, playing everyone at least every other year, and picking the top two teams with conference record of opponents the tiebreaker. Also, blowing up the schedule again would allow Michigan to undo the most lasting damage of the Dave Brandon era: the MSU/OSU home/road fiasco.

Sign her up. This woman has a legit shot at our linebacker two-deep.

We'll have to deprogram her first obviously.

The sixth year odyssey continues. MSU already failed to get Damon Knox the sixth year they promised was coming, and now it comes out that Ed Davis won't even get a degree until August(!?), despite the fact that he's already been on campus for five years. MSU can't apply for a sixth year until that degree is completed, two weeks before MSU's season opener. As we've mentioned before, Davis's case is hamstrung by the fact that MSU's own website notes he was scout team player of the week twice when he was redshirting and MSU's confidence about all three of these guys appeared to be very much unwarranted.

FWIW, the third dude, OL Brandon Clemons, has in fact sent the paperwork in already.

Okay, Drew. You know what's awesome? I haven't thought about Drew Sharp for more than a glancing second in years. But Detroit's miserable hatemonger gets on the radar today for the most hypocritical thing I've ever seen:


You win today. Now return to sleeping at press conferences.

Etc.: NFL.com names Jabrill Peppers the most versatile player in the country, which yeah. Someone complained about no Bedyoa mention in the Copa post. I have an article for you, sir. LSU bans opposing bands from playing at halftime. Rumors that Baylor is trying to bring Briles back appear to be mostly unfounded. Hockey rules committee proposes adopting 4-on-4 OT. No word on the guy who can't wear skates whose goals count double yet. Harbaugh is an extrovert.


Elite Student Leaders Achieve Peak Rutgers

Elite Student Leaders Achieve Peak Rutgers Comment Count

Ace June 8th, 2016 at 2:17 PM

Just when you thought you'd seen peak Rutgers...

As Paramus Catholic High School officials prepare to host a football camp Wednesday featuring Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, authorities are said to be investigating a series of acts that the school president called vandalism.

Paramus Catholic president James Vail told NJ Advance Media his operations team arrived on campus this morning to find Rutgers magnets across the fields and a teddy bear and Rutgers paper packet on the 50-yard line of the football field.

A group claiming unofficial ties to Rutgers University took responsibility, emailing media outlets with pictures of its work and a letter slamming Harbaugh for starting a war with Rutgers.

The photos above depict the horrifying act of vandalism and the accompanying letter from "The Order of Bulls Blood," which for the sake of both brevity and accuracy will henceforth be called "Smirnoff ISIS."

There's so much to unpack here that I'm just going to start writing a list and see how long I can go before I can no longer see through the tears of laughter.

1. "The Order of Bull's Blood" is the oldest secret society at Rutgers—or is rumored to be, as its very existence is in question (see sidebar). "The Order of Bulls Blood" is a group of students who don't know how to properly deploy the possessive form.

2. According to an email sent to local media, this act of war was pulled off by "elite student leaders," which... you know what? That sounds about right.

Good Morning,

Michigan has began a war with Rutgers University. Our Order, represented by some of Rutgers elite student leaders, see it fit that this rivalry be hereby declared.

We have had enough of Michigan. Fence the Garden was brought forth because of Mr. Harbaugh, and us Scarlet Knights are ready to protect our state. We R battle ready.

Tonight sparked the beginning of the end for Wolverine Football, and no longer will they return to their former glory. The Curse of The Bambino reigned for 86 years, Michigan's will last for 28.


The 2016-2017 Class

Order of Bulls Blood

The Yankees are invoked. I, for one, am shocked.

3. If an act of vandalism is best described as "adorable," it's probably not a very good act of vandalism. It's definitely not a good act of vandilism if it's already gone by the time the press picks up on it, let alone the event it's supposed to disrupt.

"The litter has already been cleaned up and we're ready to go for the camp,'' said Vail

This was not a good act of vandalism.

4. This is a textbook use of the passive voice by the NJ.com writer.

Because Michigan is perceived to be a rival to Rutgers both on the football field and on the recruiting trail, the camp has drawn intense criticism from Rutgers fans on popular Internet message boards.

Perceived by whom? Exactly.

5. The letter to Harbaugh. Good God, the letter to Harbaugh. There's the haphazard use of capitalization, the implication Rutgers is College Football David instead of College Football Job, "you will being to fade," and the invoking of their "powerful ally," Ohio State. Should somebody tell them?


The best part, though, is that the letter is meant to be an acrostic, a favored form among Facebook meme artisans and middle schoolers writing love letters. These elite student leaders cleverly inserted a message to Jim Harbaugh in such fashion. Or they tried to, at least, but their use of "The Sleeping Giant" screwed up the format.

As such, the capitalized letters down the side read: GO FUCK YOUGRSELF

Rutgers may be the worst thing to ever happen to the Big Ten, but at least they're the best thing to happen to this offseason.


Unverified Voracity Misses Wilford Brimley

Unverified Voracity Misses Wilford Brimley Comment Count

Brian June 7th, 2016 at 1:28 PM


Tiller was always good for some anonymous snark

I always miss Joe Tiller when these get published. ESPN does the anonymous coach quote article, and while some of it is of little utility…

Coach, can you talk about Indiana's tempo?

"They're unique in our league in that they're going to try to get 100 plays in a game and just literally outscore you." -- Big Ten defensive coach [who all Big Ten fans reading this article hope is not employed by their program]

…there are a couple interesting bits about Michigan. This isn't a huge surprise since the last coach was Brady Hoke:

"This coaching staff knows how to mask things. It's a lot more double-team, a lot more movement, a lot more point-of-attack doubles and down blocks. They're a team that embraces the 4- and 5-yard play, and not a lot of people in college football do that anymore." -- Big Ten defensive coach

It's still good to hear that Michigan's offense is reputed to be tricky. There is exactly zero chance opponents thought Michigan's offense was difficult to prep for under Carr or Hoke.

Another coach says the linebackers were the weakest part of Michigan's defense a year ago "but with the guys they have up front, if they're healthy, you can get away with whatever at linebacker." Our theory that Michigan could put out a lawn chair at LB and be okay if Glasgow is around: endorsed.

Yet more satellite camp stuff. It is insane how much people continue to talk about this. There are slightly more important things going on in college football at the moment, but there is just a nonstop train of satellite camp takes. Which, again, are about people showing up on a football field and doing football-related activities in full view of the world. And yet. Anyway here's the whatnot.

Jon Solomon stops by one of the satellite camps in Baltimore, discovering that the people who attend them are in favor of them:

I spoke to a couple dozen parents and players over a span of about five hours and this was the resounding message: Thank you for coming, Jim Harbaugh.

"It's huge -- huge -- to have this in inner city Baltimore," said Christopher Braswell, who took his 14-year-old son out of school -- almost all of the middle-schoolers played hooky -- to the middle school camp. "It gives kids a sense that someone's out there who cares about them. These guys come from Michigan. It's 10 bucks, so they're not making any money off it. A lot of people can't afford more. Bring your kid here to interact with college coaches and high school coaches. Black, white, they're just out there having fun. What's wrong with that?"

This is somewhat tautological, yes. People doing thing like thing. Thing is harmless to everything except Hugh Freeze's free time. Turns out you have to explain tautological things to lizard people sometimes.

Solomon's article is long and manages to blow up some arguments against the camps along the way. Greg Sankey:

In Baltimore:

The middle school camp in the morning is largely about teaching and drills, all without pads and helmets, just like the high school session. These middle schoolers are too far away from college for serious consideration of recruiting them just yet.

Also, Gene Wojciechowski drew either the short or long straw, depending on your perspective, and took in Michigan's Australian satellite camp:

I'm eagerly awaiting the first statement from Sankey that has any relationship to reality. Meanwhile Kirk Herbstreit says Michigan doesn't "need to do it." This is true. Michigan is doing it anyway.

Also, Harbaugh addresses the tucked-in jersey thing:

"I'm a tuck-in guy," Harbaugh explained, tugging at his belt. "In football, the advantage of tucking in your jersey is big. It's harder to grab the jersey when it's tucked in. When it's untucked, they can grab it, they can sling you, they can swing you, so I always like to tuck in it, and I like the sight lines better of a tucked-in shirt. Football is a game of sight lines -- a very symmetrical field with lines and hashes and dimensions. Sight lines are important."

He's thought long and hard about this.

And then this thing. I was maybe going to fisk that article about "absolute power" from a week ago but I've decided it's just too bad to go over in detail. Wendell Barnhouse, who used to have a job with the Star-Telegram and then the Big 12 but is currently writing for a site I've never heard of, put a bunch of words on paper he has to immediately refute because this is his thesis:

Now here is where this column will anger the thousands of Michigan fans, alums and Jim Harbaugh cultists. Harbaugh is corrupting his absolute power absolutely.

You have read the previous sentence, probably twice, trying to figure out if there is any meaning encapsulated in it. There is not. The Lord Acton quote this dude is trying to reference is about power corrupting individuals that hold it. Barnhouse is stating that Harbaugh is… corrupting power? Which is not a thing?

Barnhouse's point is that what Harbaugh is doing is "about optics" and it's bad for the NCAA, which who cares, and then he comes back around to be like BANG BAYLOR. Sorry. "BANG" "BAYLOR":

Harbaugh is engaged in “wretched excess” disguised as “outworking other coaching staffs.” Staging 38 satellite camps in 30 days might be more about carpet-bombing the “Michigan brand” more so than landing five-star recruits.

And it’s also about Jim Harbaugh having the all-encompassing power to do what he wants. There are numerous examples, including a recent one, that illustrates the danger that lurks.

This draws about 35 different false equivalencies and amply demonstrates why Barnhouse is no longer employed as a writer: he's bad at writing.

Harbaugh already had an opportunity to start off his career in corruption last year and passed. Logan Tuley-Tillman, who had a good shot at being the starting left tackle this year, was booted from the team the instant Harbaugh found out he'd done something seriously wrong.

Etc.: A three-part oral history on a basketball season that ended with a loss in the NIT final. Rutgers? Rutgers. Nitpickers gonna nitpick. ESPN's Where In The World Is Jim Harbaugh is entertaining. Scott Steiner on Harbaugh.


Unverified Voracity Slaps Knee

Unverified Voracity Slaps Knee Comment Count

Brian June 1st, 2016 at 12:46 PM


Dan Murphy at Bo's grave. A memorial day thing:

The cemetery groundskeepers say that during most weeks there are a few maize and blue trinkets at the foot of Schembechler's grave, but traffic really picks up in football season. On a spring day this year, there were a pile of pennies, a few Canadian dollar coins, a bell, a blue foam football, a couple of rusty "Beat Ohio State" buttons and an egg keeping Bo company. No one is quite sure what the deal is with the egg, but the best guess is that Bo often liked to jab at his guys by calling them "ham-and-eggers" when they weren't being as productive as they should be.

Women's College World Series on deck. A dramatic comeback win in game two of softball's super-regional sends them to Oklahoma City, with #1 seed Florida watching on TV. Michigan gets the late game Thursday (9:30 PM) against LSU; Alabama and Oklahoma are the other half of their bracket. All games are on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Meanwhile Brendan Quinn profiles Carol Hutchins:

Carol came along in 1957 and immediately raised hell. In fifth grade, playing with matches, she set a field behind the family home on fire. Two fire engines arrived to douse the flames. The Lansing fire chief pulled young Hutchins aside to let her know: "You're lucky you didn't burn down the entire southside of Lansing."

When her father arrived home in his blue trooper uniform, Carol ran up and said, "I have to tell you something: I burnt down the field."

She was grounded.

Even more satellite kerfuffle. SEC meetings are happening so there are more opportunities to ask southern college coaches about the scourge of satellite camps. They still don't like them.  The reasons they offer are still a blend of hilarious and infuriating. Nick Saban is the latest, and he followed the script:

"I don't know how much it benefits anybody because all the people that say this is creating opportunities for kids, this is all about recruiting," Saban said. "That's what it's about. Anybody that tells you that. What's amazing to me is somebody didn't stand up and say here's going to be the unintended consequences of what you all are doing."

Again with the SEC's insistence that going around and scouting football players is—gasp—part of a recruiting strategy, again with the yammering about unintended consequences. This is a conference that managed to set off a firestorm of recriminations because their two-sentence rule change unintentionally screwed over small schools nationwide. Now they are complaining because something that was legal remaining legal will have unintended consequences.

A second talking point the SEC keeps hammering is about the influence of "third parties":

"All you're doing is allowing all these other people that we spend all of our time at the NCAA saying, you can't recruit through a third party. You can't be involved with third-party people and that's exactly what you're doing ...

Then hand met podium.

" ... creating all these third parties that are going to get involved with the prospects and all that. And who gets exposed on that? I go to a camp and I'm talking to some guy I don't know from Adam's house cat and he's representing some kid because he put the camp on, and then I'm in trouble for talking to this guy? And who even knows if the guy paid to go to the camp."

Not only is this amazing chutzpah from the League of Extraordinary Bagmen, this argument wants us to believe that allowing college coaches to go to camps and directly interact with players is going to increase the influence of middlemen. Because someone has to give those kids a ride…? I guess?

Harbaugh, as is his wont, ended the internet again with a tweet.

That is the other thing: Alabama is the worst possible cow to have moo about compliance issues. Saban has pushed the envelope for years himself. There's a bump rule named after him. When he was recruiting a couple of five-stars from Dr. Phillips in Orlando he coincidentally had Alabama's bowl practices at that high school, mirroring Michigan's trip to IMG this spring. His huge pile of medical hardships forced the conference to start reviewing all hardship requests. The program itself has been the target of investigation after investigation dating back to the Stone Age. Nobody in the state of Alabama has ever—everrrrrrrr—shown any indication that they give one tenth of a crap about compliance except insofar as sanctions are a drag on wins.

On the one hand, this is knee-slapping stuff. On the other, the construction of vapid arguments that a segment of partisans will lap up veers way too close to politics for comfort. Nonsense delivered in the cynical pursuit of power is best left to trivial things like the nuclear codes.

And all this over what? Over nothing.

“I think that’s probably the unique thing and I can say after observing Harbaugh last year, the vast majority of kids at this camp are probably not Division 1 football players or aren’t likely to make it there. But I thought every one of those kids got the same attention and the same direction from the Michigan coaching staff whether they really showed that potential or not.

"They all walked out of here thinking that was a pretty worthwhile camp and left an awfully nice taste in their mouth about the University of Michigan."

One of these things is not like the other. PFF has a reason for hope for each Big Ten team, many of which are items like "Cornerback Jalen Myrick may be a better player than 2015’s NFL departees" for Minnesota or "The aerial attack is intact" for… uh… Nebraska. Rutgers's reason for hope is a return specialist.

Michigan, on the other hand:

Michigan: The Wolverines could be fielding a historically great defense in 2016

That would be okay. In our ongoing quest to get a read on every player in the PFF database I believe this is the first time they've mentioned where Ryan Glasgow ended up in their system a year ago:

Returning on the defensive line are three of the top 16-graded interior players (Chris Wormley, Maurice Hurst and Glasgow), and DE Taco Charlton, who in 2015 had the highest pass rush productivity of all defensive ends coming back this year.

They've talked a ton about Wormley and Hurst already so I'm guessing Glasgow is their #16 interior DL from last year. At this point I think we've seen or deduced their opinion on every starter from last year save Jeremy Clark.

This is a bad idea. Signing Day is at the right time. It is after the yearly coaching carousel has concluded, giving players and coaches a month or two to find appropriate landing spots after the chaos of December. Allowing players to sign before that will inevitably lead to many more instances where player and school are a poor fit. And yet there seems to be a push to do that very thing:

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has long been an advocate for a rather radical change to the process of signing recruits to letters of intent –eliminating signing periods and instead allowing prospects to sign at any point when they’ve decided they’re ready to end the recruiting process.

Johnson said at the ACC meetings in early May that he thought that the option was gaining in popularity. He may have known what Division I football oversight committee chairman Bob Bowlsby acknowledged in an interview with the AJC last week – that the committee is looking into it.

“I think a case can be made for that,” Bowlsby said. He called it a “large departure from where we’ve been in the past. Maybe it’s time for consideration of that."

The reasons offered up here are somewhat compelling—being able to sign right away resolves questions about how "committable" an offer is and how solid a commitment is—but the downside outweighs them considerably. Whenever this comes up I suggest a more flexible model:

  • Commits can sign a non-binding LOI at any time before Signing Day
  • The school has to offer a full LOI when the time comes.
  • School and prospect have unlimited contact and can arrange an additional official visit.
  • Prospect cannot take an official to another school.
  • Other coaches cannot contact prospect.
  • Prospect can withdraw LOI at any time.

That goes a good distance towards resolving the issues Johnson's proposal resolves without locking players into situations that can change radically by the time they're on campus.

Etc.: Baseball was left out of the tournament after a late slide. MGoFish looks at what's next. Saban also proposed a commissioner, which is never happening. Verne Lundquist to step down as SEC game of the week guy after this year. CFB is losing their best announcers at a disappointing rate. Popular opinion is that Baylor won't get the Penn State treatment from the NCAA.


Thursday Recruitin' Lacks D-I Talent

Thursday Recruitin' Lacks D-I Talent Comment Count

Ace May 12th, 2016 at 3:18 PM

An Unexpected Twist

When an out-of-region prospect cancels a visit, it's usually a death knell for a program's chances of landing him. So, when top-100 AL WR Nico Collins didn't make it to the spring game, I assumed Michigan was out of the picture.

I was wrong. Collins got to campus last week, and he told 247's Georgia outlet he has a new leader in the aftermath:

"Right now, Michigan has caught my eye," Collins said. "I fell in love with them on my visit. They might be my leader - with Georgia, Alabama, and Clemson pushing them. There is just something more with Michigan - they have a plan for you after college - plus their football program is pretty nice."

We'll see if that holds once the post-visit afterglow has faded. Even if the pack catches up, Michigan is in excellent position; Collins noted two important factors are his relationship with the coaches and the quarterback situation at each program—M should fare well on both counts.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]


Unverified Voracity Got To Mars In Six Days

Unverified Voracity Got To Mars In Six Days Comment Count

Brian May 11th, 2016 at 2:53 PM


Team Gardens in Flint. If you're in the area and available this Saturday, the Alumni Association is working with Vincent Smith's Team Gardens to make a thing:

Each year, on Michigan Alumni Community Service Day, alumni clubs from all over the country give back to their local communities in a variety of ways. This year, our club is pleased to partner with Team Gardens #EATING Project to assist with the creation of a community garden at Potter Elementary School in Flint. Be sure to register for this event soon; attendance is limited to 35 volunteers and families are very welcome.

Plants! Plant them in planters, the plants. And the ground.

Go big or go bigger, home is just a distant memory. Michigan has now announced 28(!) satellite camps, including faintly ludicrous stops in Australia, Hawaii, and American Samoa—and Michigan will be at the latter two twice. I have a preview of Jay Harbaugh's future right here:

I have also traveled to and fro in time to acquire a piece of Jay's diary.

JULY 15TH—unnamed village 50 miles north-northwest of Almaty, Kazakhstan. The stink of refuse in the streets and the uncomprehending looks from the villagers wear on us daily. We say "football" ever slower only for the children to grab the balls and kick them about. The oblong shape does not bother them. They have never seen a soccer ball, either. I begin to wonder if they've ever seen a man-made toy.

Everything else is goats. Goat cheese. Goat moccasins. Goat yurts. Furtive in the streets, one day I think I see a goat wife. All is goats. We offer a class of 2019 wide receiver who does not know what a post route is, or his own name. We call him Goatley. He is probably a goat.

Tomorrow we're going to see the cosmodrome, for some reason.

JULY 21ST—Mons Olympus, Mars. There are no people here. We have been directed to form them from the dusty Martian soil. Every day I trudge up the ancient shield volcano to see if the crumbling forms have been imbued with a spark of life. They never are. I feel the radiation sleeting through space and Mars's thin atmosphere, into my bones. The nights are dark beyond belief.

In more ludicrous satellite camp news. The War On Rutgers continues. Our current situation: Michigan is ignoring Rutgers for the 150th consecutive year. Rutgers is offended that Michigan asked them to their Paramus camp because they didn't want to play second fiddle in their home state, so they announced a camp with Urban Meyer at the same time as Michigan's. I have a dank meme for this, you guys, that will prove I am hip with the snapchat youth.


Noted rappist DJ Khaled will ensure I remain relevant for decades

Only the dankest of memes will appear in this space.

Anyway, by flipping the bird to Michigan, Rutgers and OSU have annoyed a bunch of local recruits who now have to choose which set of coaches to get exposure with. New Milford assistant and outstanding name Preston Lawyer:

It appears this has hit a vein of internal New Jersey high school politics, and that a number of NJ high school coaches are nuts. A NJ.com article quotes a number of coaches supporting the Rutgers camp with language that says more about the person speaking than the event they're commenting on:

"Obviously, Michigan wants to conspire with Paramus Catholic to do whatever they want to do,'' Campanile said. "So I don't think they're making friends from that standpoint with a lot of these schools. I really don't know what to say about it. But it is what it is. They're obviously aligned with those guys, and if that's what they want to do, it's their business."

I'm sorry if some of you experienced painful eye-rolling at that quote. There's plenty more in there if you're inclined. This guys sounds like a major piece of work. His brother in an assistant at BC, who will work the Paramus camp:

"I love my brother more than anything in the world. I just don't want anything to do with my kids going to a camp at Paramus Catholic.''

The good news is that per 247 this dude doesn't have a single recruitable player in either of the next two classes. The two other coaches in that article are from Don Bosco and St Peter's Prep, though, and that's going to be interesting: three of the top five guys in the 2018 class are at those schools and Michigan is thought to lead for the Ademilola twins and is up there for Tyler Friday. A dollar says at least one of these guys is hired by Rutgers in the near future.

This already happened. To you. As recently as it's possible for this to happen. Elsewhere in incorrect braggadocio:

"I may get myself in trouble for this: For people that want to come to Alabama and have a camp, I think it's great, because they're helping the quality of football in the state of Alabama," Horton told the Ledger-Enquirer. "(But) no one is coming to this state and getting a player from Auburn or Alabama. That's not going to happen. So hey, I'm for, if they want to come to our state and have it, that's going to help the quality of high school football."

Not quite Alabama, but Elysee Mbem-Bosse went to high school less than two hours away from Auburn, was widely expected to go to Auburn, and then Harbaugh went "yoink." Michigan's recruiting efforts are not going to have a material impact on any out-of-region school; pretending that Harbaugh can't go pick off kids you want is sticking your fingers in your ears and going "la la la."

Pack line is music to the ears. Quinn profiles Billy Donlon in a long piece. They key bit for people blanching at triple-digit Kenpom D efficiencies:

At Wright State, Donlon primarily played a true pack line defense (a variation of man-to-man), while showing some 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones over the years. His team ranked in the top three in defensive efficiency in five of six years in the Horizon.

Over the last three seasons, Michigan has ranked 9th, 11th and 10th in the Big Ten in defensive efficiency.

"He has a great basketball mind in general, but the way he coaches defenses -- that's kind of his thing," said AJ Pacher, a Wright State center during Donlon's first four seasons. "He did a lot of film, and a lot scouting, and he'd implement a lot of against specific teams in specific games."

The foul tension will be fascinating to see unfold next year. Here's hoping Michigan is a lot more annoying, a lot more effective, and autobench is at least somewhat warranted.

As a side note:

As Tuesday afternoon wrapped up, Donlon declined to answer if he'll serve as a sort of pseudo-defensive coordinator at Michigan.

Dank meme questions bros.

An easy way to get fired. Like a lot of coaches, Charlie Strong has a twitter hashtag he uses to announce commits, albeit anonymously. Would you believe the Texas guy for Scout has trademarked this hashtag and is now selling merch featuring it? You would not. But it happened anyway:

Texas officials were surprised Monday after learning that a reporter who covers Longhorns recruiting had trademarked Strong’s phrase in March 2015 and recently started selling #Letsride T-shirts.

Jason Higdon, the lead recruiting analyst for Horns Digest, filed two federal trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year to use the phrase on various sports apparel and wristbands.

If this guy had any connect with the coaching staff he doesn't have it any longer, and if the reaction to this news is any indication he might not have a job much longer. There is now a JasonHigdon.com run by one of the Barking Carnival guys, because the internet is like that.

Etc.: Mount Hot Take has been discovered. Excellent summary of the A&M twitter disaster. Ditto the Tunsil situation. Basketball has a home and home scheduled with UCLA. SMSB director appreciates Harbaugh's advocacy.

Baumgardner profiles David Long. Please have all future profile posted before the 2016 recruiting profile for that player, pls thx. Also profiled: Jourdan Lewis. Bama is comin' to our citayyyy. Don't hire the son of a famous coach before he's done something to prove he's not a total buffoon. See also: Derek Dooley.