New Morgan Trent - RichRod Allegations

Submitted by MGoShoe on May 8th, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Bobby Deren, a senior writer for the Rivals Rutgers site, has published Draft Season: Four Months on the Clock in which he chronicles the experiences of Morgan Trent, Kenny McKinley, Frantz Joseph and Lydon Murtha as they prepared for the 2009 draft.

This story reports that Draft Season contains some sharp allegations about RichRod's evaluation of Trent in his communications with NFL scouts.

At the end of the book, Deren describes the scene with Lloyd Carr, the former Michigan head coach that recruited him to Ann Arbor, breaking the news to Trent that current head coach Rich Rodriguez did him no favors.

“Rodriguez had bad-mouthed him to every NFL scout he could,” Deren writes. “Rodriguez claimed that Morgan was lazy, he had an attitude problem and he was a big reason the Wolverines finished with a 3-9 record…”

Trent admits the words were “jarring,” and they were hard to understand given that he was so serious about his career that he actually moved in with his brother and sister-in-law and their two small children while going to Michigan.


[Bengals defensive backs coach Kevin] Coyle heard the rumblings, but he didn’t talk to Rodriguez and put more stock in other people close to the Michigan program that had been there before.

“When there is a coaching transition and the team ends up not having success, you have to step back and try to decipher what the truth really is,” Coyle says. “There was a lot of heat on those people and there was some pointing of blame. Plus, the players were somewhat chagrined, so you had to look at everything.”

Presumably this information has played a part in Trent's willingness to speak negatively about RichRod and the Michigan football program.

Predictably, to date this story has only been picked up by the Freep (print version link).


OSUMC Wolverine

May 8th, 2010 at 2:23 PM ^

Toast, why hast thou forsaken UM....  Toast should be thankful he is where he is.  I dont think anyone prior to his senior season would have thought he would be NFL bound.  Could it be that diarrhea of the mouth Toast was running his mouth about RR and RR may have said some things in response...that certainly cant be true...


May 8th, 2010 at 9:35 AM ^

I hope I'm not the only one that seriously, truly doesn't give a shit.  What's one more crap story?  I'm really at the point where this stuff doesn't even affect me, I just file it in the "blah blah blah" file next to "Chem 210", both of which I am rapidly forgetting.

Nosce Te Ipsum

May 8th, 2010 at 10:13 AM ^

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Nosce Te Ipsum

May 8th, 2010 at 10:19 AM ^

Forget the pictures/video. I think your stance on this is completely wrong. Should we just ignore all of this? RR coached Trent for a year. If Trent didn't buy in and was that awful then why did he play him? To go out and say those things about a player that you only had for one year with is wrong on so many levels.


May 8th, 2010 at 12:27 PM ^

I forgot that you were there and heard everything. Perhaps RR merely told NFL scouts what he though. Trent never bought in, his work ethic lacked, and questioned his ability to perform in the NFL. That sounds exactly like what he would have said, but Trent got a paraphrased negative version. Perhaps Trent should have worked a little harder or taken it upon himself to be more a part of the program.


May 8th, 2010 at 6:02 PM ^

at least on this board, the referencing of opponents by common, derogatory plays on their mascot, university or team name, is seen as lowering the standard of discourse to be on the same level as opposing fans that regularly refer to M as scUM, or whatever.

It is frowned upon heavily.


May 8th, 2010 at 9:40 AM ^

below was an eye opener, as well......

“What was really hard for me was coming into the draft after being on a team with a bad record,” he says of the worst record in Michigan history. “No. 1 was having the scouts and coaches wonder if you could play. Why did we win only three games? That was a bad deal.”


May 8th, 2010 at 9:42 AM ^

it's true isn't it?  No point in making something sour taste sweet here - Morgan Trent didn't do anything to help out the cause that year.  I've never seen someone with so much 'speed" get burned so regularly in the secondary.

Frank Drebin

May 8th, 2010 at 9:53 AM ^

There were many reports that Trent didn't buy in, and sure didn't make it a very easy transition. He was stuck in the country club atmosphere and tried to blow up the team when RichRod and Co. came in. When it started going bad, he only fueled the fire, and thus resulted in bad blood between he and RRod. Bottom line is, he didn't mesh well with Rich and figured that being lazy and not buying in would be constructive to his cause of getting RichRod canned. Maybe he should see the writing on the wall as to why he would not have the best things said about him. It may not have been the best for RichRod to be so blunt in saying he was lazy, etc, but if that is what he felt, he didn't hold back. Both are to blame here, but this should stop more and more when players who came to play for Rich leave for the draft and don't have to compare to staffs.


May 8th, 2010 at 10:45 AM ^

Michigan always did about as well as they should have with the level of talent they brought in. Look at their recruiting class rankings as compared to the ranking of other top programs, and compare those to team rankings at the end of those seasons. UM might not have had one or two seasons in which they over-performed enough to win a NC, but you can't reasonably argue that Michigan consistently underperformed or was soft as compared to other Big Ten programs. 


May 8th, 2010 at 12:20 PM ^

I remember after the 2005 season the team made a point in virtually every interview to stress how they were rededicating themselves to the S&C program because they felt conditioning cost them in a number of close losses and that they needed to get in better shape if they wanted to compete at the highest levels.  The next year they had their best season in the last decade.

Jon Benke

May 8th, 2010 at 1:11 PM ^

Look at how guys have gone and done in the NFL recently, compared to how they played at Michigan.  David Harris finally lived up to all the hype, once he left.  Steve Breaston is not just a return man in Arizona, he's an actual WR.  Michigan was bringing in top tier recruiting classes, and honestly, not that we didn't win, we just didn't win enough big games.  Now I don't know if you can say that was all because we weren't in the best of shape, but it was something, and I always felt like we were a slow team, even back then...


May 8th, 2010 at 10:44 AM ^

The whole "Michigan is a soft team" meme has been around for some time, and it does seem to carry some merit.  Carr was a cerebral coach who expected his players to put in the work but wasn't a ball-buster like RR sounds like.  That might not be country-club or soft per se, but you definitely saw a thread of good players come to the program and not really improve physically, and at least part of that has to fall on the culture fostered by Carr toward the end of his time here.  


May 8th, 2010 at 10:52 AM ^

First, cerebral does not mean a lack of intensity, strictness, or discipline. One can be cerebral about each of those aspects. And as for good players underperforming, every program has "top" players come in that underperform. I think we can name just about as many standout players at UM since Carr's tenure as there were at any other Big Ten programs in the same era. Show me some data that Michigan had systematically more players underperform than any other programs. 


May 8th, 2010 at 11:08 AM ^

I'm not using cerebral as a negative, but I do think that if you are used to one style of coaching/conditioning and a coach arrives with a profoundly different outlook/system, there will be some brushback.  I agree that every program had its underperformers, and I guess my point is not that Carr allowed a malaise to permeate the program per se, but I remember reading the interviews with players the year after RR arrived and the one consistent theme was that they had never worked as hard consistently before.  And let's not forget that the last few years under Carr were punctuated by team running over, around, and through Michigan on a more consistent basis than you like to see from an elite program.  I still remember reading reports from the Rose Bowl with USC players saying they didn't feel UM players could keep up with them, and how they could dominate both lines of scrimmage.  Sure, UM beat Florida in Carr's last game and looked physically superior at times, but that was also during a season where they were blitzed by Oregon and Appy St., were pushed around by Wisconsin and OSU, and looked just a little slow when matched up against athletic squads.  

But my point isn't that Carr sucked - I liked the guy and thought he was a good coach and a great recruiter (which is what you need to be in college).  My point is that Trent clearly did not buy into what RR was trying to do when he arrived at UM, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of that was because he did not like the intensity that RR brought to practices.  I mean, Borren basically left for the same reason, and the whole Freep Jihad was premised on an article highlighting how tough RR's off-season programs were and how demanding he was as a coach.


May 8th, 2010 at 11:37 AM ^

I agree on most points - I think Carr ran a much different program, as did many teams in the BIg Ten - slower, more powerful, the "5 yards and a cloud of dust" approach to pounding out yards (I may have butchered that saying). While the team under Carr did have some programs run past them and between them, they never had opponents run over them. Other big ten programs suffered the same fate (e.g., OSU & Florida).  Speed was not the overarching approach at UM or in the Big Ten. Now it is. Like you said, they are different styles, different overarching approaches (obviously with a lot of overlap). I am guessing that a change from either one would be a shock to any player (player from speed to power or from power to speed). Carr's program required more weight and power. RR's requires speed and power.  RR requires a great deal. But that doesnt mean that Carr didnt require the maximum out of his players. My guess is that the "maximum" shifted with RR. The issue is whether the maximum also shifted at other programs. My guess is yes and no. 


May 8th, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

That I agree with.  Carr expected his players to put in the work and to push themselves, but RR probably has raised the bar at least with some players.  As for the speed-power distinction, my guess is that it was more true 30-40 years ago than now, as teams recruiting nationally and everyone basically tries to out-athlete each other.  Sure, you hear the stories about Miami looking forward to the big boys from Nebraska showing up so that they can run over them, but now every team has guys who have top-notch track speed and who come from across the country.  So you need to be fast and strong, and that is true irrespective of the offensive and defensive systems you run.  I do sense, though, that Carr allowed his players more leeway in practice, that as long as they put in enough effort in the offseason and at practice, he wasn't going to micro-manage.  With a veteran team, the players feel they have the freedom to work their way but also the expectation that they put in the necessary hours.  But you saw enough times during the Carr term when the team seemed to lose steam as the game progressed, and it wasn't because they were out-talented by the opposition (which I have seen during RR's tenure) and just running on fumes.  


May 8th, 2010 at 1:43 PM ^

Arguable, true, but not laughable.

Most Carr players that transitioned to RR have indicated that the workout regime was significantly more intense than before, that is something you can verify. Jake Long, during his time at UM, was constantly disappointed by the work ethic of his teamates and called them out on it.

If you believe that UM now has a significantly superior conditioning program compared to other teams, then old system was up to standard. I don't believe that, I think they now have a program that is more in-line with the other top programs in the nation, meaning that perhaps the previous system had slipped a bit.

In 2005 Lloyd himself and the team felt they were  too fat and out of shape andhad to re-dedicate themselves to S&C. That is not a program firing on all cylinders.

Country club also refers to the system if hiring from within or only people closely connected to the program which i think is also easy to see. there were people in coaoching positions for far too loong that weren't producing the kind of results that were going to put the team at an elite level.

Using the phrase 'country club' is a bit overstating things and I am sure that people worked their tails off in many respects, but I do think that the program had lost the competitive edge that you need to have to compete consistently with the top teams in the country.


May 8th, 2010 at 2:18 PM ^

hold on to some animosity against him and M because of Lloyd's lack of support in their own draft experience?

If I remember correctly, it was Lloyd's publicly stated opinion that the player wasn't ready to declare early, but is that so different? He had to be telling scouts the same thing.

It was an honest assessment despite the fact that it would hurt that players chances, right?


May 8th, 2010 at 9:47 AM ^

So why wouldn't this author even ask for Rich to comment on such accusations? I think it would be appropriate to at least ask for a comment from the guy, or make it known that you tried to get a comment before you ran with it.