Maybe in-state recruiting isn't going quite as bad as all that. Scout's updated instate rankings have DE Ryan VanBergen at #3, ahead of Dionte Allen, and WR/TE Martell Webb #5. Vince Helmuth is #13, James Rogers #20. Allen to FSU still stings, but if Ronald Johnson does indeed commit Michigan will have pulled three of the top five players instate according to Scout.
Woodley is honest. From an AP article on the senior defensive end:
Three years later, Woodley conceded it's fair to call his career good - not great.
"I came here with a lot of expectations and I think I've gotten a little better each year, but I haven't done all I want to do," he said. "I was really slowed down by a cracked bone on my right forearm last year, but my strength is back and I'm ready to go."
That's harsh, since Woodley was by far the defense's best player last year. Equally honest noise is made by English:
"We need LaMarr Woodley to be a dominant player. I don't think you should sugarcoat that," English said. "He has to make big plays, be consistent and healthy for us to be successful. The LaMarr Woodley that you saw against Texas is the player we need all the time."
Message board denizens have noted Woodley's ominous quote along the lines of "I'm in pretty good shape, not great shape" and taken it as a sign of stagnation in his game. Even if Woodley doesn't take the leap from pretty good to great he's a lock to be All Big Ten if he remains healthy -- a full 12 game season from him would have seen 9 or 10 sacks and something like 20 TFL. All American would be nice, especially with three other players on the line who range from almost as good to frighteningly potential-laden.
We're #6 in terms of successful NFL alumni according to the Wall Street Journal. OSU is #5 and the rest of the schools are ACC/SEC teams. Most pissed off by the list: North Carolina fans, who have had nothing approximating the success their #10 spot implies.
More voting! Bloggers are going ballot crazy. I and a dozen or so others will be participating in a weekly not-Heisman poll:
A player of the year award, voted on by bloggers, that will highlight players who might not play quarter- or tailback for a BCS school in the national title hunt. Stalwart offensive linemen. Doppelganger-like defensive backs. Sure-handed wide receivers. All of those positions shunned by the Heisman will be embraced by the Maxwell Pundit, the first player of the year award voted on by those in the college football blogosphere.
But what about punters, goddammit? Projected first ballot:
- ZOLTAN THE INCONCEIVABLE
- I dunno, some loser
- See above
- See above
- Gary Sheffield
Etc.: FO's totally rad Strategy Minicamp articles continue with a look at defensive "stemming," or realigning before the snap; A couple previews from the Cheese State; WCH looks at the potentially bleak Michigan blueline next year.