Carvin Johnson Update

Submitted by TomVH on December 9th, 2009 at 9:26 PM

I spoke with Carvin Johnson tonight. I don't have 200 words, so I just put it here.

- He doesn't have an LSU offer yet. He said he's not really sure if they will offer, but if they do it won't change his commitment to Michigan.

- He also said that he didn't think the fans liked him because he didn't have enough stars. That was pretty much verbatim, and unprovoked. I didn't mention it, or bring it up, he did.

I hate to keep harping on that, but it's obviously starting to effect the recruits themselves, which is outrageous. I'm not saying it's only here, just relaying how he felt.



December 9th, 2009 at 10:26 PM ^

I suspect that Carvin Johnson (welcome to you, young man) will soon enough come to the realization that the "boards" and paysites are not populated (in a posting sense) by the typical fanbase at all but by a very small subgroup of fans. Indeed, the number of us who post with any regularity is certainly very small in reference to how many visitors Brian gets on the site each day.

Accordingly, you are left with a fringe group of highly obsessive and dedicated fans who post. Problematically, there is a subgroup within this group of fans, negativists perhaps, those overly obsessive individuals, trolls, and the periodic just plain idiot (see banhammer candidates of the past month or so..., for example). This latter group will be unsatisfied unless Michigan scores touchdowns on every drive with 2 point conversions, intercepts every pass, stuffs every run, blocks every punt, gets at least 10 sacks per game and gives up less than 80 yards total. These fans also, annoyingly, TEND TO POST IN CAPS TOO MUCH and talk about concepts that are indefensible by reasonable analysis in football terms like how the team is "regressing" or how the "national reputation" of the school is limiting recruiting due to RichRod's abilities in if they did a phone poll, or something.

Since the expectations of this fringe group can never be met they will consistently post negatively. It's who they are. I am sure Carvin Johnson and other recruits can figure this out pretty easily.

Again, welcome Carvin Johnson enjoy your 4 or 5 years and the excellent and useful degree you will earn. That degree will open many doors for you and assuredly make you a better person.


December 9th, 2009 at 9:51 PM ^

I get excited about every recruit. No matter what their star ranking is. Obviously, I may get a little more excited about a higher ranked guy, but I'm excited to get all of these players in, especially the defensive ones.


December 9th, 2009 at 9:51 PM ^

Can we do a better job monitoring the negative talk of follow users? Before this gets out of hand...I mean isnt having the damn free press up the road bad enough? Must we continue to eat away at the program from the inside out by driving away recruits?


December 9th, 2009 at 9:56 PM ^

I would like to apologize for initially thinking "wtf mate?". But alas! I have seen the light (and his film) and I am excited. Recruits like Carvin and Ray are not only at a position of need, but they also have an attitude of need. I'm excited, I know many are excited, GO BLUE!

Huntington Wolverine

December 10th, 2009 at 9:28 AM ^

I think that this is an appropriate balance of "stars do matter" (how man times have we seen the data re: stars are predictors of performance) but they're not the final word and highlight film, game film (which the coaches may have), and in-state accolades/performance help round out the rest of the story.

I think it's acceptable to wonder about the offer but when we see and learn more of the kid, we adjust our opinions if and when necessary. That's a life skill: hold judgement/assumptions loosely as further data comes in...


December 9th, 2009 at 9:56 PM ^



Fuck stars.

Those of us who have seen your video know you can play.

Carvin is one of the players in this class I am most excited about.

TomVH, can you please tell him I said that?


December 9th, 2009 at 9:59 PM ^

Adversity. When these kids get to AA they will have no silver spoons in their luggage. I like it. I think that is what we saw in RR's WV teams, hungry kids that want to kick you in the face.I like watching players that play like they have something to prove. Since I am a Titans fan, I think Cortland Finnegan is the perfect example of this sort of player. Late round draft pick from a small school (i.e. no star equivalent)who is now one of the top five corners in the NFL.


December 9th, 2009 at 9:59 PM ^

Dear Carvin,

I want to congratulate you on your excellent high school academic record as well as your superior play on the gridiron the last four years. Earning a full ride athletic scholarship to The University of Michigan must be a dream come true for you and your family. As a season ticket holder and gigantic Michigan fan, I can only imagine how good it must feel.
In closing, I would like to welcome you to the tradition and family that is Michigan Football and I am sure that I speak for the millions of Michigan fans around the world in saying we can't wait to see you in Ann Arbor and on the field of play starting in 2010.

Go Blue!


December 9th, 2009 at 10:09 PM ^

Fans who throw a kid under a bus because the recruiting experts don't like them are idiots. Sure the recruiting sites are a helpful tool because there is a relationship between high ratings and all-americans or whatever, but the bottom line is simple. The coaching staff at Michigan saw the video of a player and decided they wanted him. That should be good enough for the fans. Who do you trust more, the Michigan coaching staff or a recruting site? A bad report from a recruiting site makes Rodriguez and co. wrong? I for one don't think so.

I for one trust the coaching staff. Welcome Carvin, Vinopal, Dileo and anybody else who get treated poorly on fan sites. Hit the books hard, let Barwis do his work, trust your coaches and you will be champions. GO BLUE!

Simi Maquoketa

December 9th, 2009 at 10:01 PM ^

Whether it's here or Scout, Tom loves the meltdowns whenever he posts about recruits reading these boards.

I'n never seen ONE negative post about Carvin Johnson on this board or Scout. I don't know where he might get the impression that he's not appreciated.


December 9th, 2009 at 11:24 PM ^

There was a good amount of "WTH? Who is this no-name? Rich Rod can't recruit!" posts when his commitment was announced. Then everyone started to get a glimpse at who he was and what he could do and the whining immediately ceased. The kid is for real and everyone would be delighted for him to be a Wolverine.

Fat Mike

December 9th, 2009 at 10:03 PM ^

when it comes to recruiting any high school athlete if you play defense, come on down. we'ed love to have you and you certainly have a huge opportunity for significant playing time


December 9th, 2009 at 10:29 PM ^

1) I haven't seen many negative posts about Carvin Johnson. Honestly, I didn't see much of a positive or negative reaction about him, because there isn't that much info/film out there.

2) A lack of a star rating is inconclusive. All it means is the guy hasn't been rated yet. If we see unrated players in the future, let's not jump to conclusions just because Random Rivals Guy hasn't rated him yet.

3) BUT can we please please please please please get rid of this stupid "Let's trust the coaches" bullshit? We ALWAYS question the coaches. Every single damn person on this board questions the coaches, whether it's about recruiting offers, play calling, clock management, personnel decisions, etc. We question the president, which is a much more selective job than college football coach. The president screws up, and coaches screw up. That doesn't mean they're not good at what they do, but not questioning the coaches is an asinine idea. What is this, China? Why the hell do we have to blindly support everything that a football coach does? We don't have to be happy with every single thing Rich Rodriguez does just because he's the coach of the University of Michigan Wolverines.

El Jeffe

December 10th, 2009 at 8:41 AM ^

Re your #2, I think there's a difference between

1. Monday morning quarterbacking, when (1) many of us know at least a little about football and have developed opinions on strategy and tactics, and (2) we have the benefit of hindsight, and

2. Raising holy e-hell about recruit choices, when (1) we know almost nothing about the recruit's abilities and what the coaches like about them, and (2) we don't have the benefit of hindsight.

My objection to the OMG! 2 Stars!!! Do NOT WANT!!! group is not that they aren't displaying proper obedience to HRH RichRod. It's that it's a sentiment based on very close to zero information and therefore clutters up this excellent site with garbage.


December 10th, 2009 at 1:28 PM ^

you and others alluded to the fact or possibility that the coaches screwed up when the offered R.V., at least. I don't actually recall seeing another recruit that this was an issue. Maybe I missed it for Carvin.

But, what on earth could you possibly base this criticism on? You know nothing other than what you've watched on the rudimentary highlight films on the net by your own admission. If you've attended the kid's games, and you know he's a beast or remarkably overrated despite a 4.5 40 or whatever, fine. But I suspect you haven't and you don't.

So your criticism of the coaches in taking this guy (I never actually read any criticism of the players themselves) is based on 1) nothing solid whatsoever, and 2) incomplete or no knowledge about what other recruitys/players Michigan may need to replace.

When I criticize RR for not running clock and holding on to the ball, instead of no huddling for a three and out ahead by 7 points in the third quarter, my criticsm is based on 30 years of experience. I'm normally right. You might disagree. RR might disagree. But at least we all saw what happened, we knew what the situation was, and how many timouts we had, etc.

Here, you know absolutely nothing (unless you're holding back on us -- which I know you wouldn't from reading your posts) which could cause you to second guess R.V. as a recruit.

I point you out as an example because you tend to have more insightful views than most posters here. You and other intelligent posters here with normally good points have gone off the deep end in your criticism of the coaches recruiting here.

As for the "OMG can't believe unrated/two star blah blah" comments, they are what they are -- simply ridiculous. I cringe or laugh every time I see people make comments like "well hopefully so and so receives an upgrade from 3 to 4 stars, etc." Who cares? Really? If anything, it will only cause more attention and competition from schools who haven't, won't or can't evaluate talent without star rankings. I'd rather see R.V. remain a two star not on Flordia's radar than a four star with interest from Florida, LSU etc. The kid's 40 time doesn't improve because he's a four star.


December 9th, 2009 at 10:32 PM ^

Carvin, if you read this:

You can make a difference at Michigan. Not only do the coaches and fans want you to come to Michigan. We need you to come to Michigan. You possess the skills to fill a position of great need for Michigan. I look forward to seeing you play on Saturdays and honestly, I think you will make us all proud.


December 9th, 2009 at 10:36 PM ^

Carvin, if you read this...

You should not waste your time. I will not pretend that I, Random Michigan Fan, will or should have an effect on your life. Do what you do, and you will be better served by not caring what this or any of the 75 posts above mine say.

Also, stop reading this and go run some hills or do some pushups or something. The internet fries your brain.


December 9th, 2009 at 10:38 PM ^

He is a stud on one of the best HS programs in LA: I personally need no more evidence than that. But more importantly, he seems to have a good head on his shoulders and a great attitude that will contribute to the reestablishment of the Michigan secondary. I think he can be a Tripp Welbourne style of player.


December 9th, 2009 at 10:40 PM ^

This is my last post on the subject. Mainly because I have pissed off so many of you. I think that it is wrong to give such great respect to someone we have never met who is only important to us because he plays a sport. However, this does not mean that this person should be scrutinized for no reason.

I believe that it is ok to discuss a players potential in a mature manner. If you are not high on a certain player it shouldn't be taboo to say so. I thought the idea of this site was to debate and discuss such things along with a wide variety of others?

FTR, I think Carvin will end up being a contributor early on if he follows through with his committment. Whether that be his freshman or sophmore year. I just can't stand how every post, for the most part, was apologizing for the people who said critical things because of his star ranking. This is unbelievable to me. This is how I feel about this subject and if I am chastised for it, so be it.


December 9th, 2009 at 10:44 PM ^

You're right, this site is for debate and it is ok to discuss the recruits, whether it's positive or negative.

As I said in my post, he didn't say it was MGoBlog where he read these comments. Everyone needs to relax, maybe take a step back from the computer, and take a break.

Like Magnus said, it's ok to question things, it's just not ok when a recruit doesn't feel wanted and excited about the opportunity to play at Michigan, because of the fans on random message boards, that's all.


December 10th, 2009 at 9:45 AM ^

Everyone needs to relax, maybe take a step back from the computer, and take a break.

Tom, I don't mean to be an ass, but doesn't your role here sort of actively discourage perspective? People talk/praise/bitch about Carvin Johnson at this point in his life because there is now a for profit industry built around following and reporting on him (I'm not implying you're making money - merely citing Rivals and Scout). But the near-constant flow of information comes from the recruits through conduits like you or the pay-sites, and, as a response, back to the recruits through on-line messageboards like this - venues where the level of discourse bounces between "inane" and "embarassing".

As long as people read posts on recruits that attempt to quantify what they are and what they will be (this site's "Hello:" series comes to mind) the unwashed masses that read it are going to form an opinion, and since this is the internet, that opinion will often be alternatingly creepy (like in the case of everyone's "manlove" for Ricardo Miller), ugly (in the case of Vinopal), or stupid (the fact that non-experts feel the need to hold-forth their opinion on these kids based on 2 minutes of highlights).

I guess I'm saying this: I agree that people should take a deep breath, take a break, and shove away from the CPU when they feel the need to write bullshit about kids they don't know. But - doesn't this site's constant flow of information actively discourage that? Isn't the profitability of this site, 9 months of the year, predicated on the fact that people WON'T?


December 10th, 2009 at 12:14 PM ^

I get your point, but I don't think this site is here for people to tell each other to f*** off, and get into fights over kids that play football. We provide information, and what people decide to do with it is up to them.

I don't think providing information, or updates is encouraging people to act like idiots. The majority of people here don't say stupid things, and enjoy being informed on what's going on. In any kind of forum there will always be the select few "people" that will act out. How you control that, I'm not sure. I don't think taking away information about recruits will stop people from acting out, they'll find something else to argue about.

Pinpointing it on being the fault of recruiting is an easy choice, because it's somewhat controversial, and popular among most people (yourself not included).

I guess I don't have the same thought process as them, so maybe I can't speak for that. I've never really felt the need to say something weird or stupid on the internet, so I'm not sure.


December 9th, 2009 at 10:46 PM ^

Mike, I am completely unmoved on your argument here re: "such great respect". Respecting that the coaching staff has given a $125 000 grant in aid scholarship to a player because they believe he can help the team would be enough. Respecting the kid as an elite athlete would be enough.

You can have reasonable and well thought out discussion of the relative merits of a player's abilities in a way that is respectful of that player as a person. It is the people who complain because Ray Vinopal or Carvin Johnson *only* has 3 stars that are the real problem. Critical analysis backed with factual information is what Brian does on the blog full time (and TomVH and Misopogon and many, many others)and, obviously, that is what drives the blog.

I think people become annoyed with the "OMFG another 3 star" type posts. Obviously recruits notice these as well.

El Jeffe

December 10th, 2009 at 8:51 AM ^

See my comment to Magnus above. My reason for "apologizing for people who said critical things because of his star ranking" (although I haven't apologized and I don't think too many people were critical of CJ for any reason--it was more Ray Vinopal that got people's noses out of joint) is because those comments are based on nothing.

If someone has seen a player repeatedly in game action and notices that they have some flaw in their game, then fine. But flipping out over star rankings is bottom-feeding fandom.

EDIT: I frankly would say the same thing about OMGAWESOME5STARZZZ!!!!11!!! fandom as well, except that the higher-rated dudes tend to have been more carefully vetted.

Tim Waymen

December 10th, 2009 at 12:00 AM ^

Yeah I don't usually buy into the "3* = sleeper recruit!! Pat White/Mike Hart!! w00t!!" hopefulness, but I am actually excited about this guy. I think it's the email from the opposing coach in Louisiana that really did it for me. I just like how the guy wrote that Carvin Johnson can really play in a league that doesn't need to send film because the players are so good. Plus 6' isn't too bad either.

Sextus Empiricus

December 10th, 2009 at 12:29 AM ^

are your opponents, your professors and your teammates. Not necessarily in that order. Get it done there and every Wolveriner on the internet and elsewhere is going to be behind you, not to mention the rest of the Big Ten. Respect is drawn from achievement. The quality of your life in A2 is going to be directly proportional to your commitment to excellence. The stage is set for you. This is your story to write and I for one will be reading it every day. Welcome to the Big House Carvin. Go Blue.


December 10th, 2009 at 12:54 AM ^

Thanks for the update, Tom. Glad to hear that Carvin is solid blue!

To Carvin:

Welcome to Michigan

Most of your average bear type fans, like me, may not know too much about you but we are excited you are coming to play in Ann Arbor. Based on what articles I have seen posted at MGOblog, it sounds like you can really play the game well. Many people are growing more excited about seeing you play in the winged helmet next fall each time we learn more about how you play the game and your team's success this year in Louisiana.

We do need athletic players like you. I hope you succeed personally at M and also help our team get back to where we'd all like it to be.

Thank you for choosing Michigan. Go Blue!


December 10th, 2009 at 2:16 AM ^

He seems like a good sleeper recruit with a good head for the game. He plays his position very well at the high school level, and is the leader of a great high school defense.

I like Vinopal for the same reason.

Garvie Craw

December 10th, 2009 at 8:14 AM ^

The fact that LSU is suddenly taking a hard look at young Mr. Johnson tells me that Michigan is doing a great job of recruiting. How could LSU overlook a good player in their own backyard? They're probably impressed with star ratings. Michigan's coaches want playmakers!


December 10th, 2009 at 10:43 AM ^

Tim's Hello Informative Updates tend to be * oriented for obvious reasons. Quotes like the following don't exactly make one feel like they are particularly wanted:

None. Michigan still needs a million more defensive backs of all varieties. A prospect like this certainly won't do anything to scare away more highly-rated guys..."


December 10th, 2009 at 10:58 AM ^

Before I get to my thoughts on Carvin (who I'm really excited about) let's take a moment to discuss the people who focus on star ratings and are disappointed that Michigan isn't full of 5-star recruits this season or "only" has three players attending the big all-star games. How well did all of those safeties work out that we've recruited in the past two decades who had better ratings?

- Jamar Adams was competent for a year or two but never "good".
- Cato June and Tommy Hendricks weren't very good at Michigan and became good in the NFL when they moved them to LB.
- Marcus Ray got a lot of good publicity for being a big hitter and for his SI cover, but he really wasn't a good safety.
- Ernest Shazor was a big disappointment.
- Stevie Brown was one of the worst safeties of all time befor finding a home at LB.

I could go on. But the point is that star ratings probably correlate better to on-field performance for some positions than others. I don't have data to back this up, but I would argue that cerebral positions like safety, middle linebacker, and offensive line are probably much harder to predict. A beast of an athlete might get a star rating but he might have no idea what he's doing on the field and relies entirely on his athletic ability.

I'm convinced that being a good safety is as much mental as physical. Kovacs was decent this year and he would probably get a negative star rating!

I'm really excited about guys like Carvin and Vinopal because they are team leaders, all-state performers, come from winning teams, and rely as much on their instincts as they do their physical attributes. I can't wait to see them on the field for Michigan. Let's focus our star rating infatuation with defensive linemen, corners, and offensive skill players.