Will Campbell = CHAOS Comment Count

Brian December 29th, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Will Campbell flew down to the Army All-American game yesterday and dropped a bomb on Michigan fans:

Although Campbell still denies a leader and maintains he favors Miami, Michigan, LSU, Alabama and Florida, in-state favorite Michigan now seems like a long shot. "I'm really looking to get away from here," Campbell said. "I liked my other visits and I'm thinking of seeing something new. I'm thinking about leaving Michigan."

He repeated this to a number of other people (one example); it's no fluke. Commence red alert and all that, OMG death etc etc etc. Then last night mods on the premium sites started posting items that ranged from cautiously suggesting Michigan probably isn't 100% out to "Campbell is coming to Michigan, but I will use my infuriating pidgin to communicate this."

The great hope here is that Campbell is attempting to add drama to a recruitment long considered a foregone conclusion even before a William Campbell showed up in the Michigan directory on the same day Tate Forcier, Vincent Smith, and the rest of Michigan's early-enrolling squad of folks did.

Is this a plausible hope? Eh… maybe. The Campbell recruitment is different than that of Nick Perry or Ronald Johnson. There was never any consensus on Perry's destination. Johnson was supposedly a Michigan lock but that information was solely provided by moderators at the premium sites and never had any outside corroboration. In Campbell's case we've had reports from random people about conversations with Campbell or his teammates or people close to the situation that indicated he was coming to Michigan. There's a ton of evidence out there, and even if that "evidence" is the shaky anonymous internet variety it's prolific enough that it seems credible.

But it's really hard to look direct quotes in the face and conclude they mean nothing. If Campbell was looking to inject drama into his decision, he's succeeded.



December 29th, 2008 at 1:32 PM ^

We have some very good talent coming for the D-line in Roh and Lalota, on top of proven talent (Martin) already there. Even without "Big Will" we have the #8 recruiting class in the nation according to Rivals. So chill out. Yes, it sucks if we dont get him, but we'll be ok (as long as Forcier doesn't back out).

From the sounds of his interest in himself, warm weather and whatnot, thid kid may turn out to be more Gabe Watson than Alan Branch. Finally, can you blame a kid from Detroit for wanting to get as far away from home as he can?? It's a wonder he didn't committ to USC.


December 29th, 2008 at 1:49 PM ^

I don't blame the kid for wanting to go somewhere else if he feels it is a better fit academically/socially, and I can completely understand why a kid from Detroit would love to go to Miami and play in the sun in front of apathetic fans (better than in the cold with near-suicidal fans). What bugs me about this whole process is that, starting with Beaver and continuing with Campbell, the decommitments of the big-name kids seem to come out of nowhere. Yes, I know that Campbell officially decommitted a while back, but all signs were pointing to him signing with UM until this weekend. Same with Beaver. I'm not sure what is happening when these kids visit other programs, but if RR is peddling snake-oil I can only imagine that the coaches at Tulsa and LSU/Miami/Florida are dousing themselves in mongoose sweat.


December 29th, 2008 at 2:15 PM ^

If the basketball rules are similar to the football rules, Crater would not be eligible for a scholarship at Michigan after leaving OSU. So I suspect the likelihood of him coming to AA as very low.


December 29th, 2008 at 2:41 PM ^

Something smells of the decommits. Like other coaches/players/programs are spreading hate, rumor, whatever about Michigan and RR. Seems the recruiting game has gotten awfully dirty in this day and age of "I want it all and I want it NOW."

Some have commented lack of a DC may be affecting Will Campbell's decision. Does that also mean that since Auburn just hired away Tulsa's OC, that we can expect Shavodrick Beaver to either bolt to Auburn or come back to Michigan?


December 29th, 2008 at 3:33 PM ^

Right. I'm sure NOBODY on the Michigan coaching staff, both former and current, EVER bad mouthed a coach from another school to a potential recruit. Seriously, the high horse that some of you put our program on is just ridiculous.


December 29th, 2008 at 3:58 PM ^

I'm fine with coaches telling UM recruits that they would find a better fit somewhere else, but it is kind of a sad day when grown men are chasing after 17-year-old kids, promising them the world, and then (usually) treating them as nothing more than cogs in a machine once they sign the LOI. I'm sure recruiting has always been like this (some of the stories you read about Bear Bryant certainly give pause), but it has become such a circus that the Internet (not necessarily at MGoBlog) unleashes immense vitriol on high-schoolers not so much because they went somewhere else, but because they jerked everyone around forever (e.g. Pryor).


December 29th, 2008 at 6:30 PM ^

As a father of boys who, I hope, will one day have to deal with this recruiting system, I would sure like to see it change a great deal. One way to avoid the problems of the unofficial verbal commitments (for example, other QBs looked elsewhere once Beaver and Forcier "committed") would be to allow schools to offer kids any time they wanted. However, those offers would be open until withdrawn, and binding whenever accepted. Sure, you think some freshman tailback is the Adrian Peterson? Great, give him an offer, but if he accepts and never grows past 5'5", you're stuck with him.

I would like to see a system like this very much. It would help with the Beaver/Campbell (potential) problem, and with the Barnes situation (a kid who might have been screwed had he kept thinking Michigan wanted him).


December 29th, 2008 at 11:21 PM ^

That sounds great, except I don't think I like the idea of locking a 13/14/15 year old kid into a college contract. A lot of the time they remove their commitment because it ends up not being the right choice for them. A lot of the time they don't know what they really want when they graduate... how are they supposed to know when they're freshmen? I understand that in that situation you'd have them refrain from committing, but kids that young are often easily persuaded.


December 30th, 2008 at 10:11 AM ^

I think it would be a rare problem. Football is so unpredictable that I don't see coaches making offers to freshmen that the coaches would also be stuck with. So, this would make a coach more careful about who he offers, as well.

By the way, I also think both coach and player could get out of the contract if they agree before a certain time period.

Or, heck, just make this start the summer before the kids' senior years, but tell the coach he is stuck with kids he accepts. Coaches will make only really serious offers, kids will accept whenever they want, and the predictability for everyone is increased.

New Kid On The Blog

December 29th, 2008 at 6:54 PM ^

Is it just me or is everything that could go wrong going wrong for the new coach? It's like no matter what happens people just look for an excuse and try and find an example of that problem elsewhere. However, I dare you to find another school that's gone on a 16 month long hell ride like Michigan is on. And if you think of one what shape is that school's program in now?


December 29th, 2008 at 7:42 PM ^

More important than Will Campbell is a Damn Defensive Coordinator. And one who can last more than a year with our new ball coach. That,"may," solidify the recruiting things some. It's tough enough keeping kids in state when SOCAL and South Florida are on the phone recruiting kids in Mid December! Find a coach, work out an amicable plan and recruit guys who like Michigan Football.

Will if you go, dont look back amigo, dont look back.

Elno Lewis

December 30th, 2008 at 8:02 AM ^

that we idolize these kids, then get upset when they starting believing us....that college football has become an industry and that, for some strange reason, industrial rules are taking hold...