you, go away
Given the general distaste we Michigan fans have had with the way in which SEC coaches like Les Miles and others oversign and then cut in order to make scholarship numbers work, how can we not be similarly enraged when it looks like we are now engaging in a similar practice? Is the answer HARBAUGH?
Michigan is not yet at the point where they have to tell a freshman who's been on campus for weeks to GTFO. Should they reach that point, or one anywhere near it, then I'll be grousing as well.
They aren't near it. To date they have lost some commits before Signing Day. If those are Michigan's choice that is a recruiting misdemeanor compared to the felony of getting a guy's LOI and putting yourself in a position where someone's gotta go, deserved or not. And in some cases they are not Michigan's choice—reports after Vic Viramontes decommitted were that Michigan was blindsided and disappointed. (The MGoSlack chat was certainly mournful.)
I do think Michigan put themselves in a bad spot by offering a few guys before it was clear whether they had the academics and/or talent to play at Michigan. In the former case, those guys should know the score without anyone having to walk their way through it—if you're not taking officials you have to know you're a long way away.
In the latter case, once that disappointing senior film comes in you can either try to make it work even if you don't believe the player is Michigan-caliber anymore or you can consciously uncouple. I can see how moving on before Signing Day instead of two years into a career nowhere near the field could be better for everyone. Michigan told Matt Falcon they didn't think he could play but had a medical scholarship. That sucked for Falcon but better to find out before you've spent eligibility. The error has been made either way.
Meanwhile, Michigan has limited control of the narrative that gets put out there because they cannot say anything about ongoing recruitments. Reports that Michigan isn't contacting certain players much are probably frustrating to the staff because the reason for that is that they've already told people the deal, as they did with Falcon, but "Michigan commit" looks good on a resume when you're looking for another spot to land. Recruiting sites waited months for Dele Harding to say something about his recruitment and finally just took him off commit lists. That doesn't mean Harding didn't know his status. If you read between the lines you know who isn't likely to be in the class. If you know, they know.
Meanwhile I know that they have told certain players not to commit whereupon those players commit anyway; Michigan shrugs its shoulders at crootin' and keeps going. Carr used to go out of his way to make things clear when such things happened to him (LB [something] Justice and some OL out of Tennessee who I can't remember spring to mind); Harbaugh seems to (accurately) regard the whole edifice as a farce and plays his part with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.
We'll see what happens on and after Signing Day. I don't think we'll see any more untoward than playing time transfers and guys not being offered fifth years.
[After the JUMP: where to put guys, where to spend scholarships, and the best hockey forwards of the past 15 years.]
Recruiting position sense
Given the chaos outlined in your Recruiting post today it is probably foolish to speculate about anything related to the class size or makeup before signing day. But I'm still going to ask the question anyway:
What is your opinion on the fact that Michigan is recruiting so many receivers in this class when the depth issue at other positions (LB, WDE) is more dire?
Right now there are 5 receivers in the class and two more possible/probably candidates to join them. The easy answer is that some will switch to DB, but they have 3 DBs already in the class and Long/Hill are probably additions. This is magnified by the fact that Harbaugh typically uses just 2 receivers at a time and at most 3. I know that our top two WR leave after next year and no one else has distinguished themselves, but it seems like an imbalance in this class when every spot in the 28 is valuable.
Usually when Michigan's coaches are recruiting in a way that doesn't' seem to make numerical sense it's because they're taking unannounced attrition into account. I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case here.
Also, Michigan's numbers at linebacker are actually reasonable. They're currently slated to have 10 on the roster next year and are looking to add one or two more. (The problem is that past Gedeon we have no idea if any of them can actually play.) They're currently at 12 wide receiver/slot types and may add two more. That's a little bit of overkill (LB and WR are both spots where Michigan needs 2.5 starters) but since a number of the wide receivers have been recruited as athletes who might flip to defensive back it's not drastic.
It's actually DB that needs numbers. Michigan loses five defensive backs after 2016 (Lewis, Clark, Stribling, Thomas, and Hill) and Jabrill Peppers has a first round draft spot waiting for him whenever he wants it. If Peppers goes Michigan has just nine players, a number of them marginal, for 4.5 starting spots. If Michigan wants to avoid playing true freshmen next year they need to add a bunch of dudes now. Hill and Long should be just the tip of the iceberg, and the numbers at wide receiver are the bit lurking under the water.
Glasgows? Why? And who does number two work for?
1. What is the back story to all of the Glasgows being walk-ons? Not recruited out of HS by UM? I saw that their mom is a surgeon – didn’t need UM scholarships to come here? Just curious
2. AD Hackett has said that their was a clear choice #2 for HC if hiring Harbaugh didn’t work out and John Bacon indicated that he knew who the #2 choice was as well – any idea who it was? Pro coach?
1. Glasgows did not play football until very late in high school because their parents weren't keen on the idea. This SI article has the full story. They didn't have big offers.
2. I have not heard that specifically, and I'm surprised Bacon would have as well. The coaching search was so laser-focused on Harbaugh that other candidates were mostly fever-dreams (CUTCLIFFE TURNS DOWN MICHIGAN) or speculative backup plans. I think Hackett knew he was getting Harbaugh relatively early in the process and just had to not screw it up, making #2 a distant consideration.
I hope it was Tom Herman though.
Recruiting coordinator gigs and their attractiveness
With all of the talk recently about Bush potentially having the opportunity to move from high profile college head coach to a recruiting coordinator position on Michigan’s staff, could you elaborate as to why an individual would want to do so from a “no brainer” perspective?
More specifically, the things that come to mind are:
1. Would a HS HC candidate really want to give up your involvement in the X’s and O’s (or on field coaching), a potential area of interest with current head coaches?
2. Would a HS HC candidate want the change in lifestyle that recruiting requires?
3. Is the jump in salary meaningful from high profile HS HC to D1 Recruiting Coordinator? Illinois coaching staff member, Ryan Cubit, is making a hair over $80k per USA Today (LINK). Do D1 recruiting coordinators actually earn salaries comparable to full time (e.g. “officially staffed”) coaches? This article citing Houston area head coach salaries (LINK) are pressing, or surpassing, six-figures annually. I’m sure Florida, and others like Ohio and California, are in the same ballpark as Texas.
With many of these high school coaches now getting TV time for themselves or their teams on ESPN, apparel deals for their team with major suppliers (Nike, et al.), and more...is the runway that much more promising career-wise leaving that behind for a recruiting coordinator role in D1 now versus an on-field coaching role later (or even staying as HC at a prominent HS)?
Illinois coaching staff member Ryan Cubit is maybe not the best example. Cubit is Bill Cubit's son and probably comes cheap as a result. Meanwhile USA Today's assistant coach salary database shows that 457 D-I assistants are making 200k+ and 760 are making 100k+. Recruiting coordinator is not a full assistant job but Partridge made as much as Ryan Cubit did in his first year at Michigan and is obviously in line for a significant bump now.
So, yes, being a college staffer, even a non-coaching one, is much closer to the on-ramp to serious money than being a high school coach. The salary pools are going up as fast or faster in college than they are at high schools, and big high school programs are often built with… yep, recruiting. Both Partridge and Devin Bush Sr built their programs by convincing players to transfer high schools.
Maybe there are some high schools that could keep coaches away from some college programs. Michigan is not one of those college programs.
Onwenu as a nose tackle?
what are the chances michael onwenu plays at NT rather than OG? michigan never seems to have enough NTs on the roster, we don't have any NT commits this year, and we have commits from three other OLs, about as many as we should take in an average year. onwenu seems like he's the perfect size for an NT; he's the anti-pat massey.
My initial instinct was similar. I saw "360" next to Onwenu's height and mentally filed him as a NT. While I still think that's a possibility if needs demand it, as Onwenu's high school career has drawn to a close it's clear guard is the first option.
As a guard Onwenu brings a unique combination of agility and power. As a nose tackle Onwenu is going to be a load to move, but does he have the explosive ability to be a one-gap player? I don't know but I'm guessing not. You can definitely work around that—the Patriots have used a hybrid one/two gap system for years based around Vince Wilfork. But, I mean, Harbaugh. You show him a guy who can pull at 360 and he's going to want him on offense.
Hockey lines of the last 15 years
Curious on your all time first three lines for Michigan hockey. At least since the last national champion.
Wow. This is a brutally difficult question. Here's an attempt:
Kevin Porter – TJ Hensick – Mike Comrie
Porter and Hensick combined on one of the top lines in recent Michigan history, and Porter went on to win the Hobey after Hensick graduated. Hensick was a puck wizard who was brilliant on a 2-on-1 and was a one-man-zone entry. Meanwhile Comrie is simply the most talented player with the puck on his stick I have ever seen in Yost Ice Arena. Due to loopholes in the NHL CBA Comrie left for a half season in the OHL (which he burned to the ground with like 3 PPG) before leaping direct to the NHL.
Zach Hyman – Carl Hagelin – Mike Cammalleri
With a better supporting cast and the mysterious disappearance of Jack Eichel Hyman likely wins the Hobey. Drove tons and tons of play off the wall, and eventually turned that into points. Just a nightmare for defenders.
Hagelin is the best two-way player Michigan has had in my time as an M hockey fan, lightning fast and always defensively responsible. Late-career offensive surge based on his relentless ability to improve himself.
Cammalleri was/is Comrie. Better pro but a hair behind Comrie in college.
Jeff Tambellini – Max Pacioretty - Andrew Cogliano
Tambellini was a mobile howitzer. Best shot I've seen. The second half of his freshman year Pacioretty dominated; I was really hoping to see a sophomore season from him. Alas. Cogliano is another in the line of Comrie/Cammalleri, fast as hell and small. He wasn't quite in their league as an offensive force but was much better in his own zone.
BONUS GRIND LINE of personal favorites who certainly aren't better than Dylan Larkin:
Brandon Kaleniecki – Andrew Copp – Scooter Vaughn
(defensemen, quickly: Komisarek, Trouba, Jack Johnson, Werenski, Mark Mitera, Eric Werner.)