Exit Austin White

Submitted by Tim on August 22nd, 2010 at 2:12 PM

AustinWhite_MShirt.jpgMichigan's 2010 recruiting class is now down a fourth member, as spring enrollee Austin White is no longer with the team. When he wasn't listed on the Media Day roster, I asked Michigan Football spokesman Dave Ablauf about it, and his answer was short and sweet: "That's permanent." Coach Rich Rodriguez expanded a bit in his statements to the media:

"Austin White is no longer in the program. So, we wish him well, we'll help him in that regard, but we're - he's no longer part of the Michigan football family.

From the tone of both Ablauf and Rodriguez's remarks, it sounds like the decision was more in the hands of the program than White himself.

Fortunately for me, I spent most of last fall following White around, so here are some highlights of his senior season of high school:

As for impact on the program, it shouldn't be a big factor. White was a lock to redshirt in 2010, and even then he was looking up at several players on the depth chart. Michigan can fill the void his departure creates in 2011 and 2012 recruiting.

Comments

Marvin

August 22nd, 2010 at 3:20 PM ^

Is what ever going to stop? If you're wondering about players leaving, then no, it will never stop. This happens everywhere all the time. It's not a big deal, and it doesn't mean there's a problem with RR or his staff.

clarkiefromcanada

August 22nd, 2010 at 3:47 PM ^

...that athletes are sometimes going to transfer out when the fit for them isn't right and/or the administratin or coaching staff may encourage the same, periodically?

As long as there is recruiting there will be attrition.

Apparently you have forgotten the Fuck Lion era.

Magnus

August 22nd, 2010 at 4:27 PM ^

That's not what he's talking about, and you know it.  The attrition rate since Rodriguez was hired has been atrocious.  This is yet another casualty.

He's not saying it should stop completely.

He's saying that these transfers/Admissions casualties are happening in droves.

PurpleStuff

August 22nd, 2010 at 5:26 PM ^

SEC teams have won the last four national titles.  If that is our goal, we need to beat them at football, not just pat ourselves on the back because we think we're smarter than they are.  In a class of 27 kids, having three with grade issues and one who decides this just isn't the program for him is just expected, minor attrition at any big time program. 

It isn't a big deal football-wise, and football-wise I'd rather be whatever fruit Alabama and Florida are than what we've been lately.

PurpleStuff

August 22nd, 2010 at 5:04 PM ^

Considering we signed 27 guys, losing 4 isn't as bad as it looks.  Considering one guy wanted to come here but was kept out when admissions appears to have had a change of heart, and two other guys are still trying to get in, you really just have one kid who didn't gel with the coaching staff/team and a couple guys the coaches probably didn't expect to get to campus right away anyway.

This is a pretty far cry from the rash of transition transfers we've had the last few years, and much more in line with the kind of basic attrition you get at any program.

Magnus

August 22nd, 2010 at 5:40 PM ^

27 - 4 = not a big deal

Unless you consider the fact that those four have disappeared within about 6.5 months of signing their LOIs.

Since those remaining 23 have three to five years before they run out of eligibility, there will surely be more attrition due to injuries, academics, transfers, etc.  It might not look bad now to lose 4 players, but what if that number inflates to 8 or 12 or 16 by 2014?

PurpleStuff

August 22nd, 2010 at 5:56 PM ^

Part of my point is that two of them haven't disappeared, but are just taking longer to get in.  My guess is Rodriguez and staff knew that Dorsey, Kinard, and Jones may not make it to campus but signed them up just in case they got it turned around (and I think they thought they had a go-ahead from admissions with respect to Dorsey).  Three guys failing to qualify from such a big class doesn't to me indicate any increased likelihood that other players in the class will have issues down the road.  As for the timeline, this is when guys with grade issues disappear.

I just don't see a trend in three guys who the staff knew had shaky grades not making the cut (unless the trend is a willingness to sign more guys knowing that some may not get admitted).  After that it is just White who it appears has some attitude/behavioral issues going on.

Also, getting 23 guys in one class enrolled is the most we've had in a very long time.  It looks bad to those of us who now obsessively follow Michigan recruiting when guys leave or don't make it in, but the end result (getting a bunch of good players on campus) appears to be pretty good for this recruiting class.

Magnus

August 22nd, 2010 at 6:07 PM ^

First of all, I would be surprised if Kinard and/or Conelius Jones enroll in January.  Usually those types of kids don't get in at a later date.  They just go elsewhere.

It is a trend when three consecutive classes have included at least one kid who hasn't qualified (Witherspoon, then Witty, then Kinard and Jones and Dorsey).  In fact, the trend is increasing in frequency.

Losing White is not a concern when it comes to "getting a bunch of good players on campus."  That's not what I'm worried about.  If you read my blog (not that you have to, but the info is there), you'll see that I was never high on White.  There were better players we might have been able to get instead of White, but that's not my largest concern  The issue I have with this is the APR, which Michigan is dangerously close to submarining.  There were concerns about White's character prior to his enrollment.  Why recruit a shady kid when you know the program/APR is on thin ice?

PurpleStuff

August 22nd, 2010 at 6:15 PM ^

Is the APR impacted by kids who sign but don't ever enroll?  I was under the impression that the player had to get on campus before they counted against it, but I could be wrong.  If not, then obviously taking chances on marginal qualification cases is riskier.

If that is the case though and none of the non-qualifiers impact the APR, the issue is really just about recruiting Austin White in the first place and/or booting him now.  I don't know anything about the kid personally, but obviously there was something going on if the coaches weren't too sad to see him go after only a semester and part of fall camp.  I'm sure you could make a case for the "We shouldn't have signed White" argument, I just don't see a troubling over-arching trend there, but rather a kid who maybe we shouldn't have recruited who ended up not panning out, which is bound to happen with one or two guys in each class.

Magnus

August 22nd, 2010 at 6:21 PM ^

Dorsey, Jones, and Kinard don't affect the APR.

The troubling over-arching trend is in recruiting and signing 4 kids who don't make it to their freshman season of football.  And this isn't like Miami or Alabama where they have a surplus of scholarship-caliber players and a couple end up on the editing room floor.

This is, "Hey, we're short of scholarship players . . . but we'll recruit 4 kids who won't make it to their first season, anyway."  Now you'll have guys like Floyd Simmons, Kevin Leach, Jared Van Slyke, etc. earning scholarships this year instead of...you know...people who are good at football.

(I mean no disrespect to those three, but they've got obvious deficiencies.)

M-Wolverine

August 23rd, 2010 at 9:42 AM ^

I don't get too sad or two excited about any one recruit. Recruiting is a numbers game.  But if we're all in agreement our numbers are down, our talent level is down, and our recruiting hasn't been up to par, it means - A. We have to make a higher percentage of who we get work out and B. every middling rated player we lose may be a middling rated player...but we've been told constantly how they're going to be coached up to a higher level.  And I don't think you can find THAT many more sleepers that turn into studs, so you can really afford to lose sleepers, even, because the percentages are eventually going to go against you.

It becomes a slippery slope, and either you have to start out recruiting your record, drastically, year after down year (which we probably have done a little bit...but not drastically), and get great players to come even if your record has sucked, OR start winning with lesser players, so the really good players want to come into your system. So far, we've done neither. Either Rich has got to show us he can recruit with the best of them, or he's got to show he can out-coach them on the field this year, and overachieve his talent level. Because otherwise I'm not sure how you turn it around.

clarkiefromcanada

August 22nd, 2010 at 5:11 PM ^

Is it any worse than, say, the 2004 or 2005 classes in which 11 players were either kicked off the team or transferred and 4 offensive linemen just moved on and decided they didn't want to play any longer?

Come on Magnus, you're better than falling into this sort of thing...or has the memory of the FuckLion, Chris Richards, Max Martin, Mr. Simpson.....etc. etc. etc. escaped you?

Magnus

August 22nd, 2010 at 5:36 PM ^

YES, IT IS WORSE.

Are you serious?

We've lost FOUR players prior to the first game of their freshman season.  IIRC, the only one of those players from the 2004 and 2005 classes to never even make it through their first fall was Chris Rogers.

PurpleStuff

August 22nd, 2010 at 6:01 PM ^

In essence, we never had these players to begin with.  Only in the land of Scout and Rivals were they Michigan players.  All this reflects is the staff's willingness to sign a few extra guys and take a chance that they can get qualified (whereas Carr was probably more reluctant to sign a guy who may not make it past admissions).  The end result is essentially the same, and in this case resulted in a bigger haul in terms of the number of players actually enrolled. 

Magnus

August 22nd, 2010 at 6:10 PM ^

You're right.  We never had these kids.

So who could we have had in their places?  Jones and Kinard both committed early on, and they didn't even qualify.  White committed fairly early (with better running backs on the board, IMO) and took up a spot that could have been given to a number of other guys.

I'd rather have a slightly lower rated guy on the team than a guy who never qualifies in the first place (or who gets booted from the team).  At least those guys would have a CHANCE of contributing (and oh, by the way, not drag down our APR in the process).

clarkiefromcanada

August 22nd, 2010 at 8:47 PM ^

Please post this exact quote whenever RichRod recruits a 3 star (or any other lesser known recruit) that incurs the wrath of the 3 Star Mafia...

You state:

I'd rather have a slightly lower rated guy on the team than a guy who never qualifies in the first place (or who gets booted from the team).  At least those guys would have a CHANCE of contributing (and oh, by the way, not drag down our APR in the process).

I'm sure this will appease the screaming 3 Star Mafia hordes.

Don

August 22nd, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

Some people are alleging that White chose to leave, others are saying that it was the coaching staff's decision. I'm just curious what in heck led to it. I can understand that if he showed up to fall practice out of shape that he'd get buried on the depth chart, but do players automatically get thrown off for being in lousy shape? There's got to be a deeper reason than just that.

M-Wolverine

August 22nd, 2010 at 3:46 PM ^

But he did SOMETHING that cheesed the staff off.  Now whether this got him off the team, or made him say "screw you guys, I'm going home", I don't know.  But if you watched the Big Ten Practice show Thursday night, I'm pretty sore Austin was one of those wearing the wingless helmets in drills.  Some get them back. Others never do, apparently.

M-Wolverine

August 22nd, 2010 at 5:24 PM ^

it was said on the radio there were 5 in total. But I don't want to add speculation on who. I only mentioned White because they said "there's freshman Austin White doing a drill" and the player shown had no wings.  So, it's not exactly outing anybody that was seen on tv that way.

(And I know the difference between "sore" and "sure"...yikes...)

sharkhunter

August 22nd, 2010 at 3:58 PM ^

is not good but that is why most RS.   Must be more.  Along the same lines, Austin had the wingless helmet.  I understand the wingless helmets for older players (i.e. Tate) but for freshman, I don't see the logic.  But of course I don't and I doubt anyone outside of the team knows the required standards behind the wingless helmets. 

1329 S. University

August 22nd, 2010 at 3:31 PM ^

at Florida and was a first round pick last year. You don't see the world falling apart in Florida. This stuff happens, and even to programs that recently won championships. It happens everywhere. No biggie.