Brian June 12th, 2013 at 11:58 AM






Uh. Right.

Some Alabama guys heard some things that caused a small rumble on the 247 Crystal Ball towards the Tide. What they heard: Alabama, not Michigan, was the other team in Hand's top two.

This was kind of right, as Hand announced today that Virginia Tech didn't have the major he wanted—Sports Management—and that his top three was in fact Michigan, Alabama, and Florida with LSU and USC also on the docket for officials even though he "doesn't want to get anyone's hopes up($)" at those two schools. In retrospect, "Bud Foster is my favorite coach but I haven't talked to him in a while" was a death knell for the Hokies.

Is this good? Is this bad? In what direction should we be running? Clockwise, to wind the clock of joy? Or counter-clockwise, to deflate the balloon of hope?

Well, let's go back to two three facts:

  1. Hand was planning on majoring in engineering until he visited Michigan, whereupon he told Rivals radio that he'd "recently decided" he wanted to do sports management instead.
  2. He hasn't talked to the Alabama guy in that field yet—he talked to an engineering professor—but has called Professor Needs A Raise at Michigan "amazing" and oh yeah "amazing."
  3. Alabama fans don't think Alabama actually offers undergrad sports management. Also their engineering school is not amazing.

Leaning clockwise. Helping in this regard is Mike Farrell—very plugged in with East Coast kids—declaring Michigan "clearly the team to beat" and TomVH getting a "you don't understand, dude had us wanting to sign up right now" quote from Hand in re: Professor Needs A Raise. Also, Hand called Sam Webb today during his dang radio show and Webb came back sounding pretty content about things you guys:

"[Hand] said the reason Virginia Tech is out is because of academics … at Michigan, when he came on the visit, he said he was blown away by his interaction with the sports marketing [ed: think that's actually supposed to be management] professor. He raved about it, went on and on about it… and he said it again in an interview I just did with him. He said it was the best academic presentation he's been around, said it made a profound impact on him. … Now, at Alabama he's looking at potentially engineering. … He said the thing that sticks out to him about Alabama is the engineering professor is a football guy. …

I think relationships will be key, amazingly key, and with the single biggest relationship obstacle out of the way for Michigan I think they'll be tough to beat. THAT'S JUST MY OPINION. … But Hand is a relationship guy."

Professor Needs A Raise turns out to be named Mark Rosentraub, FWIW.



While you're here, don't forget to check out MGoUser Canzior's post on Hand.


Wolverine 73

June 12th, 2013 at 12:09 PM ^

NSD is a long ways off.  This recruitment likely will ebb and flow during that time.  Too soon to get real excited or real anxious about anything just yet, although talent attracts talent, and we certainly have been stockpiling some terrific players the last couple years.  If we land Hand and Peppers, we'll be in a league with the USC's and Alabama's of the world.

True Blue Grit

June 12th, 2013 at 12:37 PM ^

my guess is that Hand is going to get sick and tired of the recuiting pressure and announce his decision well before NSD.  He's kind of alluded to that already.  Of course that doesn't mean other programs won't still try to flip him before NSD.  But, my feeling is that once he makes up his mind,that'll be it.  There doesn't seem to be any of the drifty, favorite-school-of-the-week drama with him like other top players we've seen in the past (cough-cough LaQuon Treadwell). 

Look for Saban to make a full-court press on him though.  Normally, I'd be worrying quite a bit about that.  But in this case, I think our coaches have built up a sizeable lead that we should be able to hold onto down the stretch. 


June 12th, 2013 at 2:14 PM ^

Wilson tweeted

@WiltonSpeight: Texting with @TheHand54 he knows exactly what's up!! Really hope he just gets in this team group chat asap!! #hail

Someone tweeted at Jabrill that Michigan is in the lead for hand and he responded...

@JabrillPeppers: Imma get him!!! RT @JayJayUSATODAY: Word is that Da'Shawn Hand may be favoring Michigan. The @JabrillPeppers factor.


June 12th, 2013 at 12:15 PM ^

You know what is an NCAA violation? Buying cars and houses and nice things for recruits. You know what's not? Buying those things for Mark Rosentraub. Someone (DB) make sure he gets those. Whether or not Hand actually comes here, that guy clearly deserves them. Who knows what other recruits he's swayed but didn't get credit for it?


June 12th, 2013 at 12:26 PM ^

As a recent SM graduate, I knew right when Hand said all those great things about the "sport marketing professor" that it was good old Rosentraub. The dude is, in short, the man. He is an older guy, but he comes off as someone who is in his 30s...much like a certain DC so I've heard.


June 12th, 2013 at 12:22 PM ^

I can only view this as a huge positive. I'm not that concerned about AL and FL, it would be naive to think with a top prospect like Hand wouldn't be heavily recruited by all the marquee programs across the country. At the end of the day though, recruiting is still about building relationships and it's hard to make up ground, even if you're a big name school/coach. (This doesn't seem to apply for MSU however, :) ). Given how personable our staff is, and accounts that Hand is a "relationship type of guy." I think this is doubly true in our case.

Secondly, by eliminating VT, we see that Hand is indeed serious about academics. Given Foster was his "favorite coach," this shows he's VERY serious about it. While he clicked with AL's football guy engineering head, I think given time to evaluate things he'll see that by all objective measures AL's engineering department is bottom of the barrel. Given the quality of Michigan's engineering program, should he choose to go that route, and the fact that he was so impressed with Michigan's sports management program he wanted to change majors, I don't think in the end AL's academics are going to win him over.


June 12th, 2013 at 12:22 PM ^

Its pretty difficult not be excited by all this. It would be nice if Mr. Hand decides to commit earlier than his stated time-table. One can only wonder what effect having both Peppers and Hand in the class will have on folks like Adoree Jackson and even Fournette.


June 12th, 2013 at 12:44 PM ^


... but has called Professor Needs A Raise at Michigan "amazing"


Rosentraub made $200,524.01 last year -- does he still need a raise?


June 12th, 2013 at 12:54 PM ^

Is anyone else feeling a little skeevy about flipping a kid from engineering to sports management? I mean, isn't sports management usually a fake major for athletes who don't want a lot of class work? I understand Hand is a very bright kid and the presentation made a big impact on him, so perhaps that's not the case here. But given our recent history with allegations of steering athletes towards less demanding majors, I'm a little leery of this development.


June 12th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

I thought that at first as well, but we don't know the specifics.  Was Da'shawn gung ho about engineering, or did he tell schools "he thinks he wants to study engineering or maybe sports management"?  Does he *really* know what engineering is (as a high schooler, I didn't -- I just knew it had to do with math/physics/technology)?  Would the CoE even admit Da'shawn (they have stricter standards than the rest of the U)?  Maybe the coaching staff told him that if his number one goal is to become a top NFL draft pick, balancing the CoE workload and football would be difficult and he should consider the tradeoffs between his academic interests and academic workload (perhaps he likes sports management 90% as much as engineering, but it's only 50% of the work)?


June 12th, 2013 at 3:08 PM ^

They offer AP Engineering, now? Geebus.

That is interesting because I suspected that his interest in engineering might have been pretty slight. I know UM has had several recruits come through lately (Pat Omameh and Brandin Hawthorne are two who come to mind) who listed engineering as their intended major when they were being recruited but none of them ever actually majored in it at UM.

I still can't understand why he would drop VaTech because they don't have a Sports Management major and, yet, he still lists an interest in majoring in Engineering at Alabama. Weird.


June 13th, 2013 at 2:26 AM ^

I still can't understand why he would drop VaTech because they don't have a Sports Management major and, yet, he still lists an interest in majoring in Engineering at Alabama. Weird.

That's what confuses me... why drop the school who was (presumably) your (tied) leader for something, but keep another school who you like less despite the same problem? Especially when said school has an awful fallback (engineering) department.


June 12th, 2013 at 1:21 PM ^

I was a Sports Management major - and not an athlete.  It's far from the most difficult major at Michigan, but it's basically a generic business degree with all of the classes slanted toward Sports.

I'm class of '97, so it's been awhile, but I had a wide variety of experiences in Sports Managment Classes and the School of Kinesiology in general.  Many of the athletes were smart, hard-working students like the rest of us.  Others weren't, but isn't that true in every major?

As for feeling skeezy - it's far and away the most common major for athletes, and the athletic department has long steered kids there if they're weren't sure where to go.  So, if you don't feel right about it, than you should probably feel skeezy about a whole bunch guys that have been Kinesiology majors and on the football team for the last 20 years.