Where is the confirmation on Holmes Onwukaife?

Submitted by backusduo on June 17th, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Has anyone noticed that we are still waiting on a confirmation that has not come? Days ago we were treated to what all proclaimed as a great signing of OLB Holmes Onwukaife (a recruit with actual credible D1 offers). Unfortunately we are now hearing that not only was this premature, but that Coach Rich Rodriguez counter offered an ILB position, and was turned down. Holmes will now, not be coming to Michigan à la Travis Williams our DB commit errr, not commit from earlier this season.

As much fun as it is to spend the summer months planning to match shirts on game day, or predicting how many points we'll beat Eastern Michigan by, I think we need to continue to discuss this recruiting strategy that shotguns out 100+ offers making an offer from Michigan meaningless to a recruit and diminishing the name of Michigan football. No need to review the argument about the quality of recruits coming in these days, but what about the quality of our name across the country?

Coach Rich Rodriguez makes Michigan normal when he gives every 3 star recruit an offer, and then he further diminishes OUR name when someone says yep, I’ll shake on that offer and he says, “Whoops didn’t know you were going to take us seriously. Can’t do it right now. We’ll have to get back with you.” As a Michigan man and a business man I live by the motto of my Yes will be Yes and my No will be No. College football should be a young man’s introduction into good business practices and character, not their first experience learning the dark realities of cold-blooded business.

I know many of you Michigan Men must feel the same, and we need the University to know we believe in Passion, we believe in Victory, but above all we believe in Character beyond reproach.



June 17th, 2009 at 4:26 PM ^

Rodriguez did nothing wrong here. He didn't retract an offer. Onwukaife tried to be the THIRD guy to commit at a position where only ONE plays. I said this on another thread - it's like a third QB or a third TE trying to commit in one class. It's overkill.

This is not like the Travis Williams offer. We had no cornerbacks committed at the time, but Rodriguez said, "Please visit first because I don't want you decommitting or transferring later."

In this case, Rodriguez said, "You're too late to play OLB. We'll still bring you on as an ILB if you want." That's more than fair.

This type of thing happens all the time in recruiting. In fact, it just happened last year with OSU's defensive back recruiting.


June 17th, 2009 at 5:18 PM ^

and because of arcane NCAA rules, RR couldn't speak to him in person.

Maybe he should have not been honorable, followed the rules, pulled a Kiffin, and told him that he was just too late in committing.

Speaking of life, business lessons, Michigan students should understand that in the real world, spots fill up, and if you hesitate too much, someone else may jump on the offer that you are sitting on. It happens all of the time.

If the kid wasn't sure and never visited, this makes sense.


June 17th, 2009 at 4:34 PM ^

While I don't think anyone likes to see offered players prevented from committing, there is no avoiding it. Until the day that every offered player commits to Michigan, Rich Rod is going to have to chuck out more offers than players he wants. And as long as there are scholarship limits, commits are going to have to be denied if too many of those offered players want to commit. It's not pretty, but there is too much uncertainty to do anything else. If he tried too hard to never have to turn anyone down, he'd run the risk of not getting enough players, which is exactly what happened last year.


June 17th, 2009 at 4:35 PM ^

I agree with backusduo all the way....maybe it is a decent recruiting strategy, but when there's 300 guys with Michigan offers, I feel like the offer is less and less special


June 17th, 2009 at 6:19 PM ^

This should actually motivate kids to commit early. There was an article in ESPN the Magazine last week talking about the Elite 11 camps and how all of these kids know and understand that they could have offers pulled if someone else commits first. It is part of the business. The situation is a little bit rough for Holmes but who cries for Michigan if they offer 2 kids at a position and they both go else where? Would you rather see Michigan send out that "special limited offer" and decrease the chances that you fill that position? The idea of tradition is one thing but to put yourself at a disadvantage in recruiting is just plain stupid.


June 17th, 2009 at 10:12 PM ^

I think you have the right idea. This year, cynics will say the recruiting strategy looks as if it is diluting the Michigan brand with each offer to a low-rated recruit. The evidence: we're seeing kids without BCS-team offers accepting early while highly-rated recruits opt not to include M in their top-fives.

However, what happens when, using the same recruiting strategy, M comes off a 9-3...10-2...11-1...12-0 season? I speculate you'll see kids pretty excited about the fact RR thought well enough of them to offer early, and eager to accept early before their positions of choice are filled.


June 17th, 2009 at 8:51 PM ^

Ease up on backusduo. I understand his concern.

To me this situation just shows the contrasting styles between RR and Lloyd's recruiting strategies, and in the bigger picture the differences in their personalities as a whole.

Recruiting is nasty and unfortunately for Michigan fans we're starting to see what other programs, most of them very successful on the field, have been doing for years.


June 17th, 2009 at 10:37 PM ^

This is what is ridiculous. This guy has 101 points from making short statements ridiculing an idea that is beyond his ability to debate inteligently. Maybe you can cuss me out next to make your point clearer.

To the rest of you I appreciate the comments both for and against. I understand that this is one way of recruiting that is effective but hopefully more of a symptom of a 3-9 season then the character of our new coaching staff and the family atmosphere he and the coaches are creating. I am a strong proponent of the hard working and competitive atmosphere that this staff is creating and feel this is just one more area that they can capitalize on to set us apart in the future.

Garvie Craw

June 18th, 2009 at 11:09 AM ^

The kid never visits, but commits. He's offered a different linebacker position, and he says no thanks. Does it not sound like he was the type who just wants to get a committment under his belt so he can look around for a "better" offer? If he really burned to be blue he'd take the offer, come to camp, and prove that he's the best guy for the position he really wants to play. I think he would have stayed committed until maybe January when he changed his mind and went with a team like Texas A&M. This one reminds me too much of Beaver, Graves, and Jones from last season.

Will Trade Sou…

June 18th, 2009 at 4:38 PM ^

I buy this argument. I really don't like the idea of soft offers, but is there any other alternatives in the world of soft verbal commitments? I think Brian's idea of an early commitment period that prevents other teams from recruiting you is solid, but that's not the world we live in. I just hope that we're being straightforward with these kids and not being dastardly with our scholarship offers.