Hello: Me

Submitted by Ace on August 22nd, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Sorry, my mind is still swimming from the whirlwind of this past week and I couldn't come up with a better title, but I figured I'd introduce myself.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with me, my name is Ace Anbender, and I've previously written at The Wolverine Blog, The Wolverine Magazine, and The Ace of Sports (I was quite the humble college freshman, I guess). I've been following football recruiting with more than a passing interest since high school, and while it has never been the main focus of my writing, I will be doing everything I can in the upcoming weeks and months to provide the expert analysis that you guys have enjoyed from the great work of Tim and TomVH, who both leave big shoes to fill.

I graduated from U-M with my bachelor's in history last December, after four-and-a-half years (including five, shall we say, interesting years in the student section) as a Wolverine. Though I was born in San Francisco, the undisputed greatest city in the world, I have lived in Ann Arbor since the age of five and started attending football games with my father during the 1994 season. I almost never made it here, as my first game in Michigan Stadium was supposed to be the Colorado game that season, but a serendipitous work trip kept my father from taking me and my mother sold the tickets - who knows what would've happened had I experienced my first soul-dong punch at such an impressionable age.

My favorite Wolverines of my lifetime - well, the part of my lifetime when I've been able to follow a football game - are Charles Woodson, Brandon Graham, Mike Hart, and Tim Biakabutuka, while my favorite games that I have been able to attend are '97 and '03 Ohio State, '07 Michigan State, '08 Wisconsin, '09 Notre Dame, and '10 UConn. I realize those games have a very recent flavor (a flavor which, I admit, had some bitter aftertaste), but I hope you understand that attending games as a student is an altogether different experience.

None of that has much at all to do with what I'll be working on here, and when it comes to recruiting I welcome any and all input, which will be a huge help especially as I get acclimated to the new job. Don't hesitate to contact me via Twitter (@aceanbender) or email (aceanbender [at] gmail [dot] com) with any advice, criticism, helpful recruiting tidbit or article, anything that you think would help me do the best possible job I can at the best Michigan blog in existence. I'll also be a constant presence on the board, posting under the moniker "Ace", so you can track me down there as well.

Thank you all for what has already been an outpouring of support, which is very much appreciated - I know that I'm following in the footsteps of a couple of great guys who did fantastic work, and I hope you all enjoy what I bring to this fine establishment.



August 22nd, 2011 at 2:45 PM ^

Welcome to the MGoCommunity.  Make yourself at home.  Just make sure you do your job well or the MGoMasses will run you out of town.    /just kidding (but not really)

Also, you should make it a point to seek out "DGDestroyer" on the Board - he has been an outstanding recruiting poster, in addition to Mangus and others, of course.



August 22nd, 2011 at 2:55 PM ^

I already asked Heiko so I'll ask you: Will you be continuing the Friday Night Lights series to document our current commitments in Michigan and take HD video for our viewing pleasure?


August 22nd, 2011 at 2:56 PM ^

Can you say anything about your knowledge of the game of football itself (e.g. Xs and Os)?

It's great to hear about recruit's timelines, leans, and visits, but even better to have some substantive information about the way they actually play the game.

Either way, it's exciting to have you join the staff!  I enjoyed your work at TWB.


August 22nd, 2011 at 3:26 PM ^

Standing at a solid 5-11, 145 pounds, football was never much of an option for me. My knowledge, in terms of X's and O's, extends as far as doing a fair amount of reading on the subject, growing up as great friends with a couple guys who went on to play at the college level, and watching an absurd amount of football. I have done some scouting before for The Wolverine, and know generally what to look for from players at most positions (some of the intricacies of line play still escape me, but I'm learning). I will do my very best to give you a solid idea of what I see in a player's game, both positive and negative, and I'll be working my tail off to make sure that analysis improves over time.


August 22nd, 2011 at 3:20 PM ^

Welcome aboard Ace.  For your first recruiting hornet's nest: I'd be interested in your take on Mick McCabe's article on Wilcher at Cass Tech, saying he's not at fault for Campbell's underwhelming fundamentals.  I'm surprised this article hasn't created a thread--except since everyone has sworn off reading the Freep, maybe no one saw it.  The article actually has some merit--but more to the point, the whole controversy has potential to ruffle some recruiting feathers.  Since I like Wilcher's status as coach of a UM pipeline (not to mention I like him anyway), I'd prefer not to upset the status quo there.


August 22nd, 2011 at 3:39 PM ^

Seawolve, just read the article - I'm not sure McCabe is being entirely fair to Campbell, as it doesn't appear that BWC's quote ever mentions Wilcher directly, so he might be making a big deal out of an out-of-context quote (stunning coming from the Freep, I know).

That said, Big Will is saying that he never knew the fundamentals, which is obviously a huge issue, though one I wouldn't blame on Wilcher. By all the accounts I've read (including McCabe's), Wilcher is a very good high school football coach. If Big Will doesn't know fundamentals by now, the problem is either with Campbell himself, the old coaching staff, or (most likely) some combination of the two. Not knowing first-hand where the issue is there, I'd rather not put forth any unfounded conjecture.


August 22nd, 2011 at 4:44 PM ^

I'm not even really sure we "need" the cass tech pipeline.  I understand that they've sent us a lot of recruits but frankly none of them have panned out.  (Here is the list since 1997)



William Campbell 2009 5 Stars Michigan
Dior Mathis 2010 4 Stars Oregon
Boubacar Cissoko 2008 5 Stars Michigan
Joseph Barksdale 2007 5 Stars LSU
Vernon Gholston 2004 3 Stars Ohio State
Kishon Wilcher 2011 2 Stars Toledo°
Delonte Hollowell 2011 4 Stars Michigan°
Daniel Easterly 2010 3 Stars Mizzou
Teric Jones 2009 3 Stars Michigan
Thomas Gordon 2009 2 Stars Michigan
Cortez Smith 2008 2 Stars Indiana
Julian Easterly 2008   Indiana State
Aaron Archie 2008 2 Stars Indiana State
Mackenzie Lyons 2004 2 Stars Eastern Michigan
Allen Langford 2004 2 Stars Wisconsin
Dezmond Gray 2003 2 Stars Western Michigan
Emory Jones 2003 2 Stars Toledo
D Bryant† 1998   Duke
Kenny Nelson 2011   Illinois°
Dawan Moss 1997   Michigan State
Marco Cooper 1999 4 Stars Ohio State
Roderick Maples 1999 3 Stars Michigan State
John Jackson 2011 2 Stars Western Michigan
Dalton Barksdale 2010 2 Stars Buffalo
Anthony Anchrum 2008   Indiana State



August 22nd, 2011 at 6:15 PM ^

Wow.  That is a pretty impressive list of impressive recruits having unimpressive careers.  Given that we have some guys on the present team and two hot shot recruits coming up, we should all be hoping the list balances out sometime soon.