Unverified Voracity Gets Invited Comment Count

Brian February 16th, 2017 at 12:40 PM


Braden invited; Magnuson not invited [Patrick Barron]

All the combine folks. 14 Michigan players will participate and even so there are a couple surprising omissions:

Braden but no Kalis or Magnuson is odd, and I thought Dymonte Thomas would be the kind of guy who could improve his stock significantly with impressive testing numbers.

That's a hell of a lot either way. Michigan's total is just four fewer than the entire Big 12. On the one hand, Michigan did not capitalize on that talent (by an inch, or a negative inch). On the other, Michigan's recruiting edits are going to be straight fire emoji in the immediate aftermath of the draft.

Speaking of the Big 12, Chris Vannini has an interesting article about the long term talent decline in the league. The state of Texas is getting raided hardcore:

The last factor is recruiting, and it doesn’t look better for the future. Only one Big 12 team signed a top-25 class in 247Sports’ rankings earlier this month: Oklahoma at No. 8. The next-closest Power 5 league was the ACC with four top-25 classes.

The league relies on the state of Texas, but Ohio State signed three of the top six players in the state. It was the first time since 2005 that an in-state school didn’t sign a majority share of the top 10 players in the state, as noted by the Dallas Morning News — and the third time since 2000 (the other two were Oklahoma). Only two of the top-10 players stayed in-state, and one of those left the Big 12 by going to Texas A&M.

Tom Herman should start turning that around—recruiting concerns about his finish at Texas should be mitigated by the fact that he landed Ed Oliver and a smattering of other four stars at Houston. It probably won't be enough to get back to parity.

"Offer" versus OFFER, part billion. I'm all for dumping on Nick Saban but this seems like a big bowl of nothing:

"LSU's welcome in my school anytime," Feaster said. "The only school that can't come to Parkway is Alabama. And there's a long story behind that, but it had to do with not being ethical in their recruiting.

"They can't come. Everyone else is 100 percent welcome."

The reason?

There is a difference between an offer and a committable offer, something he found out the hard way in the recruitment of former LSU quarterback Brandon Harris.

Alabama "offers" Harris, his coach gets persnickety about it, and then Alabama says he has an OFFER, only for that offer to be back to scare-quotes status by june:

"Napier calls me the next day and says, 'Coach, I have some good news for you. Tell Brandon to call me on this phone during this period and I'll put Nick Saban on the phone,"' Feaster said. "We do that and Saban says, 'You have a scholarship at the University of Alabama.' So, they gave him a scholarship offer. It was a committable offer.

"By the time he gets to campus in June -- and I'm not saying Brandon was going to commit to Alabama -- it wasn't an option. Basically what they told him is that we got other guys that are going to come through here, and I promised them a shot. So we have to wait and see then."

As far as malfeasance on the recruiting trail goes, this is small potatoes. Whether or not a kid is a "take" changes constantly for every school, including Michigan. Getting upset because Alabama changed their mind about a kid before he even committed is some special snowflake stuff. (Also that guy lost his job to a Purdue transfer, sooooo...)

MSU update. The gymnastics coach was forcibly retired and now faces three allegations that she downplayed sexual assault reports from Larry Nassar:

The allegation — the third made specifically against Klages — was first made in a court document filed Jan. 27 seeking to add the athlete to the federal lawsuit against Michigan State University, Nassar, USA Gymnastics and Twistars gymnastics club in Dimondale.

Those documents, filed by attorney Jamie White, didn't identify Klages, but said it was "a member of MSU’s coaching staff."

White, the attorney for the gymnast who says Nassar sexually assaulted her during medical appointments, confirmed on Tuesday that it was Klages who spoke to his client's mother.

He also confirmed that it was Klages who told his client's mother that "Nassar’s digital penetrations of (the athlete's) vagina was a proven medical treatment."

If you believe the reports sufficiently to "retire" her you should be firing her for cause.

Michigan State has suspended Curtis Blackwell, a recruiting staffer. They won't say why, but it's not too hard to draw a line between that and this:

Blackwell's suspension comes as a criminal investigation into three Michigan State football players is ongoing. Michigan State announced last week that a member of the football staff also had been suspended pending the completion of that investigation.

The police have requested warrants for the three players in question.

Also Demetrius Cooper was charged with spitting on a parking enforcement officer. Oh and Malik McDowell fell out of Mel Kiper's first round for reasons other than his talent. In a normal year this would be part of the rivalry pointing and laughing. This year not so much. That whole athletic department looks to be in total chaos.

Stop with the video, fergodsakes. Interesting piece on the demise of Scout media, which was accelerated by a push towards making everything a video, even the things that should definitely not be videos:

Advertisers might also have been skittish because of where most of Scout’s traffic came from. Despite a costly thrust into video, part of a massive, costly overhaul of Scout’s CMS, nearly 80 percent of Scout’s traffic comes from visits to its message boards, which are reserved for subscribers. Though the developers team claimed the addition of video in 2015 drove tens of millions of views within six months of its launch, Scout’s traffic was relatively flat or declining year-over-year from 2014 to 2015, according to comScore data.

Almost all of those videos were worthless. They're still doing it. I can't tell you how many Scout tabs I open and then disgustedly close because they're a hundred words trying to induce me to watch a recruit get interviewed for five minutes—a video that would already be autoplaying if I hadn't sought out a Chrome extension to disable said feature. ("Disable HTML 5 Autoplay," FWIW.)

Autoplay video is a scam. Person opens page, video plays, person does not watch video, counts as a hit anyway, publisher tries to leverage those numbers into high CPM video ads that no one will ever watch.

Etc.: Here's a video with athletic directors, including Warde Manuel, discussing a potential student protest. I did not watch it despite having interest in the subject matter, because it is a video.



February 16th, 2017 at 1:31 PM ^

it'd be mostly the same list.  These are very talented kids.  That's what happens when you have two highly touted and high volume classes in a row from which everyone stuck around to try for something special.  Give them the credit.  Jim certainly would.


February 16th, 2017 at 3:19 PM ^

Its not a "given" that talent will always get drafted.

It's the development of the players talent. And Harbaugh has shown thatese last 2 years that he is the best we've ever seen at development of players here at Michigan. Ever. I know it's 2 years in, but I'm already convinced and drinking the koolaid. Best EVER HC that we've had here


February 16th, 2017 at 1:48 PM ^

Our D-line and secondary are gonna get raided like a box of donuts in the company lounge, which would've happened if Hoke was here, since our stars on defense were all Hoke guys and the weaknesses in our secondary were scheme.  On offense, the NFL seems to be high on our eligible receivers and cool on our O-line, which is also pretty much the situation Hoke created.

Setting aside filling holes with underclassmen which is beyond the scope of this thought experiment, Harbaugh's impact on the seniors was hiring Brown and making the offense greater than the sum of its parts.  10-3 was underperforming due to a whole hell of a lot of bad luck; they were 8 points total away from undefeated.  The Hoke scenario would've involved the defense getting burned by a horribly coached press man leaving the middle of the field open before the D-line could sack the QB, and the offense running Smith/Green in a Nussmeier IZ for 1.7ypc while the QB throws 18 picks.  I doubt Jourdan Lewis would be getting Day 1 draft hype but I don't expect the Combine invites to look much different.

Go Blue Eyes

February 16th, 2017 at 2:22 PM ^

How about looking at this way: Hoke remains coach and Morris is the starter in 2015.  Team goes from 5-7 to maybe worse?  Some of those players probably leave early and the team loses more in 2016.  Definitely a lot less exposure and with Hoke's management of the team the above players certainly aren't coached as well and place in a position to be succesful.


February 16th, 2017 at 3:22 PM ^

I began playing organized contact sports in the 5th grade. The physical exams well past undergrad always included a rubber-gloved MD inserting his lubed finger in my butt.

My primary care physician as a kid "tickled" the package to see whether there was a response and, eventually, there was a predictable and observable one. Was this not indicated by the medical literature?

Or was I abused? Just saying man -- I was by no means the only dude affected and while this all is embarrassing to recite I had just thought it standard procedure at the time. And I'm totally straight without ever a question about that.

Shop Smart Sho…

February 16th, 2017 at 4:06 PM ^

I had my first physical for sports in 4th grade and my last in 12th grade.  Late 80's to late 90's. I never had a rectal exam as part of that physical, nor was my package ever "tickled".  I got the obligatory "turn your head and cough" exam to check for hernias, but tha was it.  So yeah, there is a strong chance your doctor was a perv.


February 16th, 2017 at 4:42 PM ^

Agree, I remember the hernia check and the lubed finger was only for my DODMERB exam to get qualified for a military academy which I assume was based on an old procedure as they checked EVERYTHING.  

I don't think the doc being described was on the up and up, and in any case it does not apply to what happened with MSU women's gymnastics.


February 16th, 2017 at 10:41 PM ^

Agree.  I seriously doubt the anal check for the military physical was anything other than procedure; when I enlisted in the 80s there were about a dozen of us arranged in three rows or so and the 'pecker checker' and his corpsman assistant went down the rows like a robot.  New glove, lube, poke, glove off, next butt, new glove, lube, check, glove off, next butt...etc., etc.  With a line of dudes at the door waiting their turns.  The 'dick check' consisted of new glove, 2 second peek, and a quick turn your head and cough, new glove, next dick - in a similar couple rows of about a dozen of us.  I seriously doubt there was any enjoyment being had that day by anyone. Those doctors' looked to me like they felt they had the most miserable jobs on the planet. Probably some doctors who used the military to help pay for their med school and were doomed to a cycle of MEPS Center duty.

The only time a doc needs to be penetrating anything medically during a treatment for a physical complaint is to check for something specific and related directly to the complaint.  Nothing routine about what this crapbag was doing at all.

Leaders And Best

February 16th, 2017 at 1:04 PM ^

Hard to argue with the job he had been doing until this past year, but there was not much for him to do. Dantonio and Izzo were already in place. Their football program has had one of the best decades in their history. Keeps Izzo happy. I think the major complaint for MSU fans before this year was the Tom Anastos hire and continuing to stick with him.

But this year is testing other skills that he may not have.


February 16th, 2017 at 1:23 PM ^

Dantonio has repeatedly minimized illegal conduct by his players. There was no noticeable punishment when gangs of football players assaulted fellow students, a player went from jail directly to the practice field and other winks and nods. That attitude seems to have finally caught up to the program. There is more to an athletic administration than winning games.


February 16th, 2017 at 1:54 PM ^

Who reportedly had people throw at her own players and is still on staff (with an awful record too.). MSU folks have also been grumbling that he renewed the Nike deal early -- at $3.4MM per year for 10 years -- just before the market changed with the mega-deals with Michigan etc.

It may not be a fair comparison but he seems a bit Brandon-ish to me (maybe most ADs are somewhat that way) with all the "branding" through Aircraft Carrier games etc. while cracking down on tailgating for the fans. Unlike Brandon, he doesn't seem to give a shit about any sports other than Football and MBB.

Leaders And Best

February 16th, 2017 at 6:10 PM ^

Under Armour's stock has tanked in the last 12 months, and I wonder if they would still offer UCLA the same terms now with the trouble their company is facing. UA's stock price was around 40 a year ago and the month before they signed UCLA. It is barely over 20 today.

Personally, I am glad Hackett and Michigan avoided Under Armour. A lot of people on this board were enamored with them, but they are still miles behind Nike and adidas.


February 16th, 2017 at 3:45 PM ^

when you prioritize winning over the safety and well-being of the community, you've done your job very, very poorly.  It's harder to win when you do things the "right way" because you might have to suspend your star player or you might not be able to encourage a hook-up culture on recruiting trips.

There is a reason these programs that experience unprecedented success (Baylor, MSU, Ole Miss), often do so with very terrible consequences.  The pressure to win at this level and the money involved is unfortunately going to create another one of these as long as the fans keep paying and watching.


February 16th, 2017 at 6:07 PM ^

Yes, he got Izzo and ime got pretty lucky that Dantonio happened to be the Human Embodiment of Michigan State Disrespekt but otherwise their athletic department is trash. Most notably, he let and is actively allowing a once proud hockey program to be abysmal. I can barely believe he hasn't fired Anastos. He truly must not care about anything other than football and men's basketball because everything else sucks


February 16th, 2017 at 1:18 PM ^

Hollis is like most ADs, in that they are usually judged by what happens around them, not what they do. Hackett was fine, but he sort of was handed Harbaugh and nothing terrible happened with any other major sport. Then Manuel comes in and the hockey team, which had trended down for years, bottoms out and suddenly he's deemed ineffectual because he didn't force Red out earlier.

Hollis enjoyed football having a renaissance and Izzo being Izzo. He's probably fine at his job, but he hasn't been tasked with much.


February 16th, 2017 at 3:05 PM ^

Handed Harbaugh?! This comment makes me think you have not done much deal structuring. Being "handed" something and brokering it are two entirely different things. It's an executive art that requires - in many cases - decades of experience. Hackett managed the situation like the seasoned veteran he is / was; many others - if not most - could have easily botched it. 

Leaders And Best

February 16th, 2017 at 12:59 PM ^

I wonder if the NFL scouts felt they saw enough of Kalis & Magnuson at the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl that they did not need to see them at the NFL Combine. Kalis practiced for both of those games which is rare so NFL teams probably got a good look at him--better than most prospects in this draft.

Ben Braden was not invited to either game so maybe this is Combine invite is because NFL personnel are looking for more data on him.

Leaders And Best

February 16th, 2017 at 6:56 PM ^

Not a lot of OL get invited to the Combine especially considering how many OL are on NFL rosters. I concede the Senior Bowl point: almost all of the Senior Bowl participants were invited to the NFL Combine. But a lot of the Shrine Game OL participants were not invited so it is not that surprising that Magnuson was left off. Considering Kalis was a late addition to the Senior Bowl, his omission is a little more stunning.

This may not be a good sign for their draft prospects if NFL teams did not want to see them after the postseason senior all-star games. But I do wonder how much more you will get from an OL at the Combine after you already got their measurables at the Senior/Shrine Bowl, interviewed and watched them practice. I don't think the other Combine workout testing (40, shuttle, etc.) really adds that much in the evaluation of OL.


February 16th, 2017 at 4:16 PM ^

That may be true, but if it is, it's probably in the opposite direction. Players are invited based on the assumption that they'll likely be drafted. Of course, this is far from an exact science, especially when you're talking about later round guys, and you never know whose eye you might catch at the school's pro day. That being said, those guys weren't invited likely because the league received enough feedback to indicate that they'll probably go undrafted.


February 16th, 2017 at 1:01 PM ^

Autoplay video is a scam, but it makes a lot of money.  P&G and other advertisers are starting to crack down with viewability metrics and the like, but it is sort of a big wink wink nudge nudge in the industry.

Mercury Hayes

February 16th, 2017 at 1:03 PM ^

If the ads are optimized for auto play/views as you suggested, the payment model would be CPV and not CPM, which is undoubtedly more expensive and better for the publications.

You can charge 1 cent per view on an auto play video which turns out to be $5 for about 500 views. Meanwhile if you are charging on a CPM basis you can easily get 1,000 impressions for $5, or much less - maybe even $2!

So the autoplay racket is not only cheating advertisers by promising views that aren't happening, they are more expensive. Especially if the contracts are small ones not bought with massive media contracts.


February 16th, 2017 at 1:12 PM ^

will get their chance to impress and put up some good numbers at Michigan's pro day. Still find it odd none of them were invited to the combine though so teams could get measurables on them and put them through the interviews.

UofM Die Hard …

February 16th, 2017 at 1:18 PM ^

Love those combine intvites....talent gap is starting to close. Credit to Hoke and Co. on the recruiting but its clear a lot of these guys wouldnt have developed like they have under that regime. 

JH and Co. doing work...well done




February 16th, 2017 at 1:26 PM ^

So much video and audio content is a waste of time. I rarely will watch lots of video or audio of people talking. Tbh, I rarely listen to the audio content that you produce here at mgoblog. You can get a lot more information easier, quicker, and with more depth, by reading a well written piece.