Mailbag: Berkley Edwards, Alabama Math, Burke's Bees Comment Count

Brian April 26th, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Berkley Edwards.


Berkley Edwards: already on the roster, but named "Dennis Norfleet"

Guys, are the Michigan coaches really not offering Berkley Edwards?  I understand he is small, but as fast as he is and the fact he is a legacy makes me question the thought here.  I’ve noticed this hasn’t been mentioned at all since the ever mature Braylon went on Twitter to complain.  At the very least, I hope the coaches reach out the Edwards family and keep any discussion out of the social media.

What I don’t get though is if he is someone Nebraska considers, can Michigan afford to overlook him?  I know I really think that the Buckeyes not recruiting Mike McCray is going to come back to haunt them.  I don’t want Berkley to come back and haunt us.

Berkley Edward's chances went from okay to slim when Michigan flipped Dennis Norfleet the day before Signing Day and from slim to life support when Brady Hoke went Donkey Kong on 2013 recruiting. At this point Michigan can afford to overlook someone Nebraska offers two scholarships and an earldom, let alone considers.

Michigan has 17 kids in the class and is going to somewhere between 22 and 24. Even if we take the most Edwards-friendly number, six of those seven scholarships are earmarked for:

  • Ty Isaac
  • Two wide receivers
  • Three defensive linemen

So then you're talking about adding Edwards over another corner, safety, TE, or WR. Is a pint-sized tailback most likely to make an impact on special teams really a priority over one of those spots, especially when you already have three running backs in the class and recruited a seemingly-superior quarkback prospect in Norfleet the year previous? No.

Add in the likelihood that whoever Michigan is pursuing for spot 24 at one of those other positions is going to be a four-star type and it's a blowout. Offering Edwards makes no sense. McCray, a consensus four-star ranked in the top 100 by Rivals and ESPN with two dozen BCS offers including Oklahoma, is not even a comparison.

Edwards might have a shot if Isaac ends up at USC and Michigan can't latch on to another touted guy at tailback. Even in that situation it seems unlikely since Michigan is loaded with tiny darty return guys who are the only tailbacks Fred Jackson doesn't think are the second coming of Earl Campbell. He just does not make sense on the roster.

Wouldn't you rather have another safety? Safeties are important, yo.

Alabama math.

Hey Brian,
I am not sure I followed your latest post. There might be something I am missing. I am not a fan of Brandon or this game, but I don't see how a home-and-home makes us better of financially. Let's say a bad opponent home game nets us 5 million. Playing Bama at home nets us 7 million. And for arguments sake lets say the return of a home-and-home with Bama would be in 2013.

The way it is

2012 Jerry Game: 4.7 million + 2013 crap team: 5 million = 9.7 million


2012 Bama: 7 million + 2013 at Bama: 0 = 7 million

No Bama

2012 crap: 5 million + 2013 crap: 5 million = 10 million (but you don't get to play Bama; but the band is happy)

I would choose home and home if it was me because it is not my money and that is more fun, but I don't think that is the best choice financially. I would choose both over more UMass games.

Mike Yates

The thing you and the OUTRAGED at OUTRAGE gang in the comments are missing is the ticket price. Apparently a game like Michigan-Alabama can support a ticket price range from $125 to $285. This is at a minimum 66% higher than Michigan is currently charging for bodybag games, not the 17% suggested in your email (remember that Michigan has to shell out about $2 million to get the one-off games in the No Bama scenario).

When the ticket prices came in 30 bucks or more—potentially much more—above what Michigan is charging for their "premium" game this year that changed the math drastically. Maybe that pricing is not sustainable over 110,000 tickets like it was for the 25,000 Michigan was given for Jerryworld, but… yeah, it totally is. Find me a Michigan fan who'd be less likely to buy a season ticket package this year that had 'Bama on it but was $50 more expensive. That person does not exist.

A correctly priced monster home-and-home is financially comparable to the dual punching bag scenario even without considering the ancillary benefits that will come from increased interest in season tickets, suites, goodwill from the fanbase, donations, etc. It would have made more sense for both Alabama and Michigan to schedule a game in Ann Arbor for 2013, then figure out where the return game goes later.

In the long term this is largely moot. After the Pac-12 agreement kicks in Michigan will have a road nonconference game every year except when the ND series takes its brief breaks. It's hard to imagine them adding a third opponent who would require Michigan to travel.

I just hate getting sold a bill of goods, is all.

Keep Crisler ArenaCenter weird.

Hey Brian. My buddy works with the guy that buys the costumes (and tickets) for the students wearing the lobster suits. With Smotrycz transferring, the lobsters are going to become bees through a glorious transformation. I hope this insider tidbit helps you get through the slow period and maybe even leads to some cool visions on your current meds.
Go Blue!

KJ, '04

I will miss the lobstryczs, but good on the Maize Rage for keeping the weird quotient high. I suggest someone purchase an enormous buffalo head mask so they can be Bielfeldt's Buffalo. Someone should wear a fez for no discernible reason. He should have one of those huge faces of himself wearing the fez, as well, cocking an eyebrow and looking suave.

Also also we're going to need a giant Canadian flag for Stauskas. And some guys dressed up like beetles who click their mandibles alarmingly during free throws. And there should be a moose. A live moose. With moose teeth. Wearing a toque. His name is Graham the Brown Moose, and he sets huge screens. In the event a live moose is not permitted in Crisler we will innovate.

In addition, on certain defensive possessions Crisler should adopt the disconcerting Yost penalty-kill hooting. Whenever Stauskas hits a three the entire student section should shout "You're my buddy, pal!" There will be a Mark Twain impersonator as well.

Addendum: we need a prominently located fat shirtless guy. On his chest we will paint an image of Glen Rice raising up for a three-pointer. He will not be allowed to shower. We should think about putting a hat on him as well. Hats are crucial for the entire operation. People should also dress like the future people in Bill and Ted.

These are reasonable suggestions. /jedi hand wave



April 26th, 2012 at 3:47 PM ^

...going to be good for one more season. Your buddy needs to start planning his next costume purchase.

As a member of the OUTRAGED at the OUTRAGE crowd, my only suggestion is to not buy the bill of goods in the first place and then the OUTRAGE you have will be replaced by knowing satisfaction that you were not driven to OUTRAGE. /zen


April 26th, 2012 at 3:52 PM ^

It's more akin to a bowl game, with travel, and people who are going to pay big bucks to go to it. Bowl games have charged prices like that for years. It hasn't increased the ticket prices of home games to that level.  Even in a season like last year with 3 huge games.

Could it? Yeah, it's possible, because people are crack addicts when it comes to Michigan tickets. But they're whiney crack addicts; tickets went up, like $5, and everyone exploded. $90 for MSU is meltdown worthy...well over $100 wouldn't be, for anyone?  I get the feeling you'd be leading the charge on "money-grubbing Brandon."   People accept it without much question down there because most are flying and paying a lot more to see and stay for the game than the ticket...or are already down there and get a rare opportunity. This isn't the same crowd that drives in the day for the game, complains about parking costs, then drives back home the same night.  Students hated their ticket increase...jack it up by $50, and see how they feel. 


But yeah, Edwards isn't getting a scholly offer unless EVERYONE decides to go elsewhere, or we have some more people leaving the team opening up a free one at the last minute.


April 26th, 2012 at 4:56 PM ^

Said secondary market consists of hundreds, or maybe a couple of thousand, tickets, not 100,000+, and you're frequently dealing with customers who are looking at attending only a single game.  Also, keep in mind that the secondary market prices for bodybag games are frequently less than the season ticket price; the extra $50 for a premium game is already in there, amortized amongst UMass/EMU/whomever.  Of course, in a season where the "premium" game is MSU...


April 26th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

It is you.

Yes, it's us.  (aside) Who are we?


Regarding Dallas -- I, for one, am thrilled that CEO Dave managed to scrounge enough change out of the bottom drawer (and boosters' pockets) to reverse course and send the band to JerryWorld.  I just wish he could learn how to make the right decision without having to make the wrong decision, loudly and publicly, first.  As a Michigan fan living in Seattle, any non-Pac-12 game I attend requires travel, so I agree with the previous poster -- I'm willing to pay more because the tickets seem less expensive when considering the entirety of the trip... but I was seriously hedging on attending due to the lack of the band.


April 26th, 2012 at 4:11 PM ^

I don't believe there was as much OUTRAGE  over the OUTRAGE  as Brian suggests, but now that he's overrated that, I have to admit that I am now filled with OUTRAGE 

STW P. Brabbs

April 26th, 2012 at 7:25 PM ^

Green kind of reminds me of Carlos Brown Plus. He's got the speed, and more size than Brown, but he really doesn't break as many tackles as people seem to act like he does. He stops his feet on contact quite a bit.

He's pretty good, but I actually like Smith better. Not to mention Isaac.


April 26th, 2012 at 4:45 PM ^

Although I agree that he's not a guy who needs an offer right now, I wouldn't be opposed to getting him one if the situation makes sense.  Disclaimer:  I love small, shifty, speedy dudes.  Love 'em.

We all know that the last seven spots will be filled up by all 4+ star guys, and almost everyone we want will end up signing with Michigan.  We also all know that there won't be aboverage attrition pushing this class up to 25-26 guys. 

In the event that either of those things end up not being true, Berkley might find a spot.  He's a guy who can play RB or WR, kind of like a Gallon or Odoms, or Justice Hayes and Norfleet on our team now.  What if we don't get Tie Issacs and we only get one of the 4 star WRs we're after?  What if we do a really good job filling our needs, but we don't have a great option for that last scholarship. 

Brian made a statement just after Norfleet's commitment last year that you should always have a guy like that on your roster.  Well, with Vincent Smith a senior this fall and Gallon a junior, maybe we need another?  Return guys get hurt or get the dropsies and it's nice to have a few of them.

Also, I've always been a proponent of taking three WRs in this class, two big guys (Dukes and Treadwell?) and a third slot-ish receiver, more like a Steve Breaston than an Odoms, but a guy with more speed but less height.  Devon Allen would be ideal for this spot, but in the event he doesn't come and we can't find a third elite WR, bringing Berkley in as a slot WR/scatback combo wouldn't be a bad move. 

Lastly, considering our RB and WR recruiting has seen less of an emphasis on speed and more on bulk and height, respectively, we should bring in at least one offensive speedster a year.  I'm not saying Edwards needs to be our first option there, but he should be on the list somewhere.


April 26th, 2012 at 4:59 PM ^

Breaston is no Megatron; but at least according to wikipedia, he's still six foot. Also, Devon Allen is listed at 6'1" on Rivals, so even though he's a speed burner, I wouldn't group him and Berkley in the same category, height-wise.

If Berkley Edwards was 6'0", we wouldn't be having this debate. With his speed, hands, intensity, and pedigree, he would have committed back in September when he was offered. In that more perfect universe, we'd be able to get Braylon's little brother in the Maize and Blue as well.

I'd just prefer Braylon's little bro doesn't go to Little Bro.


April 26th, 2012 at 5:09 PM ^

Just because he's not the same height as Breaston or Allen doesn't mean he can't fill the same role, especially when that role puts less importance on height and more on speed and agility. 

I'm just saying there are a few roles he can fill on the team, and if we're not able to fill those, then offering him about the same time we offered Norfleet last year would be a good idea.


April 26th, 2012 at 6:49 PM ^

I am not against bringing Edwards along if there is space per your suggestion, but my concern would be less with his tangibles (which we all know) and more with the intangibles that the "Edwards" name has with UM.  As we've seen, Braylon is not above taking public shots at people he feel have mistreated him or his family, and while Berkley might be a great kid, you have to wonder if Braylon will be the silent solider if Berkley is sitting for most of the game and only comes in on a couple of returns.  One of the big complaints during RR's run was the off-the-field distractions while one of Hoke's strengths so far is keeping the focus on the field and everyone out of the press.  If you offer Edwards a scholarship, you are giving the Edwards clan an opportunity to have a voice, even if it is just a local one, and I'm not sure that is a great thing.

Again, I don't want to foist the sins of the family on a kid, but part of the reason UM is even considering this kid is because of his last name, and so you have to accept that there might be complications associated with taking a smallish mountain goat with clear but limited skills.

French West Indian

April 26th, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

Have you ever seen a real live moose?   1-they are huge!!!  and 2- if that thing has gas then you sure as hell don't want to be indoors with it (even a basketall arena is too small for that kind of bomb).


April 26th, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

we need a prominently located fat shirtless guy. On his chest we will paint an image of Glen Rice raising up for a three-pointer. He will not be allowed to shower. We should think about putting a hat on him as well. Hats are crucial for the entire operation. People should also dress like the future people in Bill and Ted.

Still loopy on painkillers, eh, Brian? I mean, Graham the Brown Moose is the kind of pure, beautiful inspiration that rock musicians crank out when they're, um, cranked out. Keep it coming.

M Wolve

April 26th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

I think that everyone can agree that Edwards is a very good high school football player and will likely contribute to whichever school he eventually chooses. As Brian noted, we do not have a scholarship slot open for him because Coach Hoke has been crushing the recruiting trail.

The question that I have is: do we really need a scholarship for him to join the team? Berkley probably would love it very much to don the winged helmet (at the very least we know that his multimillionaire brother wants him to). Is anyone aware of a financially well off recruit that has turned down a scholarship for the betterment of his future team (in any program, not just Michigan's)? If Berkley really wants to go to Michigan, and Braylon/Berkley's family can afford for him to pay his own way, what is stopping this from coming to fruition? Yes, this is a direct blow to his pride and hard work towards attaining a scholarship from a university of which he is a legacy, but why not walk on if they'll let you (assuming finances are not an issue)?


April 26th, 2012 at 5:43 PM ^

This has been brought up before, and if the Edwards' were down with it, it would be best-case scenario.  However, it's not that simple - guys want to be rewarded/appreciated when they think they deserve it.  Not just from a financial perspective, but a kid would often rather go to Indiana where the coach really wants them and is excited about getting him on board, than to Michigan where he's an afterthought.

Now, if Hoke knows he won't have a scholarship for him, he could have that talk with Berkley and his parents/brother, offering him to come on board as a walk-on, and if he starts seeing the field he could be awarded a scholarship a la Kovacs, and if he doesn't pan out, he still gets to be a part of the Michigan football family and leaves with a Michigan degree.  If this pitch worked on anyeone, you'd think it would be him, but I can't blame him if he goes somewhere else though.

M Wolve

April 26th, 2012 at 6:16 PM ^

I didn't mean to insinuate that the only factor here is money, and I get that going to a school as a walk on would be quite a difficult choice to make if other Big Ten schools are willing to pay for you. It just seems like if Michigan was the only school he'd be willing to attend, he would have committed already. Then again, maybe his plan is to hold out for a late scholarship if the slot presents itself. I think that would be my play if I were in his shoes--know you're going to M, wait until signing day for a scholarship, and go there regardless of receiving an offer or not.


April 26th, 2012 at 6:25 PM ^

Yes, even if he knew he'd come here anyway, he wouldn't give up on getting the scholarship that early, which is why most preferred walk-ons are announced after signing day.

But I don't think that's the case with Berkley.  If he has offers from Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, those types of schools, he's not going to walk-on here.  He might pass up scholies from MAC schools to walk-on at M, but not from other major conference schools, especially ones that are solid academically. 


April 26th, 2012 at 8:15 PM ^

Clearly Berkley does not need a scholarship to attend any college. His father has funded various scholarships. So, if Berkely wants to play for Michigan, wouldn't make the most sense for him to have a conversaion with the coaching staff so that, assuming they see him as a valuble contributor, the school can save a scholarship for a guy they want who needs it? It seems to me that is the best for all concerned. Berkley ends up on a squad that was able to improve his recruiting class, because they did not have to use a scholarship for him. Everyone wins.

I would love for Braylon's son to come to Michigan and distinguish himself as a Wolverine. I make, at best, a modest fraction of Braylon's income, but I can afford to send a child to Michigan. If I had a son with the talent to make the team, I wouldn't be looking for a scholarship for him to go there, and, assuming that he wanted to go to Michigan, would rather pay his way than have him take a scholarship elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, the scholarship is a tremendous benefit, but at some income level your child doesn't need it. 

I'm a long time out of school. My degree from Michigan and what I learned there has repaid the cost of my education at least twenty times over. If Braylon and Berkley share the desire for him to be a Wolverine, then Berkely should just come to Michigan, walk on, and make the team. I have little doubt that he has the talent to see the field while he's there. 


April 27th, 2012 at 9:01 AM ^

But if it were me, sending my kid brother to college would not be that line. It would be in-state tuition, presumably easily within Braylon's reach. Assuming he can get through Admissions without a football scholarship. And no doubt the coaches would happily extend "preferred walk-on" status. Like Brian Griese.

As far as I know, right now his only non-MAC offer is Minnesota.

On Braylon, will an NFL team sign him this year? Is he done? Seems like things didn't go well last year in SF.


April 26th, 2012 at 6:39 PM ^

.......and?  Are you trying to make a point or just type random recruits names in caps?  You like Derrick Green?  You don't?  You think we should recruit him harder?  You think he commits to Michigan?  You like him better than Ty Isaac?  You think his name sounds cool?  He's your neighbor?  Give us something.