February 16th, 2012 at 1:21 PM ^

This is one of the first recruits to have a chance to evaluate pitches from both across the entire recruitment process. I'm thinking Mattison can do this, and if he does, it would be symbolic that Meyer can't get every guy he wants.


February 16th, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

Nice article.  My issue with the pro-style vs. spread offense debate (and it was one I had during the RR days) is the notion that it really affects how a kid can perform on the field, especially at a position like RB.  Steve Slaton was a great college RB in the spread, as was Noel Devine.  LeMichael James has had a great career in a spread offense, and Monte Ball set a rushing TD record last year in the most manball of offense.  Guys who are good show it on the field, and going to the pros, those scouts are educated enough to look beyond a system as see if the kid can really play at the next level.

I still want Smith to go Blue, but the notion that there is an offense better suited for him to run the ball seems silly to me,


February 16th, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

You make great points about both styles of offense being able to produce top notch running backs.  Talent is the number one determinant of a player's ability to be successful.  That said, Urban Meyer has not proven that he is capable of taking talented running backs to the next level.  His version of the spread, or his coaching ability, or some combination (certainly not his ability to recruit talented backs) just hasn't showcased the halfback position in the past.  So I think Mattison, Funk, Jackson, and Hoke can use Meyer to Michigan's advantage, not so much the spread vs. prostyle thing. 

Blue in Yarmouth

February 16th, 2012 at 1:30 PM ^

I agree that a good RB would be able to run in either offense if given the chance, and the NFL scouts would be more than able to see that. The issue I see is some coaches just don't give their RB's the opportunity to showcase their abilities.

RR did a good job of showing what his RB's could do when he was at WVU. Oregon has also let their RB loose. Some spread offenses do that and showcase a dominant RB. Urban Meyer, however, has never really showcased an elite runner in his systems of the past. He has had some good RB's, but while playing for him they didn't reallt show it.


I guess what I am saying is sometimes the playcalling and coaching, not the system, makes it difficult for the RB to show he can play in any offensive style. 

edit...damn, took longer for me to put my thoughts into words than you...


February 16th, 2012 at 1:52 PM ^

I'm not sure what your point is.  You say that Slaton, Devine, and James all had good careers as spread running backs.  And you said Ball had a good year in a more traditional I-form offense.

But there's no evidence (among those four players) that each could be successful in a different offense.  Slaton has played in a zone running game in the NFL; Devine hasn't made it to the NFL; and James and Ball haven't entered the league yet, either.

Your hypothesis ("Good running backs are good") may be correct, but the evidence you offer seems somewhat irrelevant.  If you come up with spread running backs who have done well in a pro-style offense, or if you find pro-style running backs who have done well in the spread, that might do more for your argument.


February 16th, 2012 at 5:01 PM ^

Worth noting that Meyer has NEVER had a 1000 yard rusher.  Even with Jesus as his QB so not sure what, if any, points could be addressed in relation to his coaching career from this.  I just dont see big backs as a need for him, unless, he is seriously changing his scheme.


February 16th, 2012 at 1:18 PM ^

I get that he's from Ohio where it's 24/7 Buckeyes, but it baffles me that any tailback would be 50/50 between these two teams right now. Look at the different situations. Michigan has an extremely favorable depth chart filled with scatbacks and guys without a whole lot of carries. Ohio just grabbed two more four stars to go with the other 3-4 they have on the roster. A Meyer RB has never run for over 1,000 yards, whereas Hoke and Borges have constantly publically stated they want a workhorse back to give 20-25 carries a game to.

I get that Meyer tells these guys things like, "I've never had a 1,000 yard rusher because I've never had anyone like you", but do recruits really not pay attention to these kinds of things?


February 16th, 2012 at 1:25 PM ^

This is the biggest decision of his life, so he should consider everything. That said, how can a self-professed Michigan fan be split 50/50 between Michigan and Ohio State? 


February 16th, 2012 at 2:19 PM ^

Strobel was a life long Ohio fan and said he had a hard time seeing why Michigan was so great at first. It is important for the athletes to try and take out any biases to try and find the school that is the best fit for them. Enter agruement about Ubran's O not being fit for him...Maybe Urban isn't completely lying to these kids about using bigger backs, which remains to be seen.

Blue in Yarmouth

February 16th, 2012 at 1:45 PM ^

I want to start by saying this is in no way meant to be a personal judgement of Mr. Smith. I don't know anything about him or his upbringing and would love for him to come to UM and have a great career here.

Having said that, I just don't understand how someone that is a lifelong UM fan could possibly put UM and OSU 50/50. I mean, I know kids all having different interests and desires when it comes to what they are looking for in a university. I can understand when a kid who is a UM fan gets offered by USC and has thoughts about heading there because they offer somethings UM doesn't (climate etc).

What I will never understand is when a UM fan would look at their most hated rival and be able to even consider committing to them. I say this as a lifelong UM fan myself, knowing that I wouldn't care one iota if OSU ran the style offense I loved, offered the major I was looking at and offered me free tattoo's over every inch of my body I could never attend that university.

It would be different if UM didn't offer, but even then I would go somewhere other than OSU. I will freely admit though, one of the two things in my life more important to me than UM is my family so if that is what is driving him to OSU I guess I could maybe understand it somewhat....nope, sorry, I can't. Never OSU!


edit..Damn, late again. I am having trouble putting my thoughts into posts today I guess.

Blue boy johnson

February 16th, 2012 at 2:32 PM ^

I wondered if that was the case with the TE who committed to Oklahoma when everyone thought he was going to M. He just might not have liked M having grown up in Ohio. I'm with you in that there is no way I would have ever considered Ohio State for football, shit, I would have gone to McGill and played canadian football before pledging to be a buckeye.*

*not sure there is a canadian football team at McGill


February 16th, 2012 at 3:49 PM ^

I'm not positive, but Kyle Kalis probably grew up an OSU fan or had parents who were very pro-OSU.  His objective decision making helped us out in the end. 

As a fan it is hard to comprehend, but there is so much more that goes into making a decision that will affect the rest of your life.  Like the kid who picked another school because of the lack of chick-fil-as on campus.


February 16th, 2012 at 7:01 PM ^

I've been thinking about going there ever since I was a kid, Kalis said. Once I got the offer, I couldn't think of anything negative coming out of committing early.

Everything about Ohio State I love, and I cannot wait to become a Buckeye.

TBT: Which college team are you a fan of, if any?
Kalis: I am a huge fan of Ohio State. Always was and always will be.

Just some quote pulled from Kalis' recruiting planet page.


February 16th, 2012 at 2:27 PM ^

Deveon Smith is one of my favorite running backs on our board, so this article was reassuring. I like our chances and I think he's an ideal back for our offense. He might not hae elite speed, but he's physical and does not go down easily. 


February 16th, 2012 at 2:29 PM ^

But it seems OSU has no real need for a powerful bruising back since they just signed Dunn.  How many "bruising" power backs do you have in a game at one time, and what are the chances Dunn not start or leave early.  Seems like a no-brainer from a biased life long Michigan fan which school he should choose.


February 16th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

I'm not sure Ohio State will have room for him.  I assume they'll take one running back.

They have:

Brionte Dunn

Warren Ball

Carlos Hyde

Rod Smith

I suppose Smith and Hyde could/would transfer if Dunn or Ball pass them, but that's 4 good backs (and Jordan Hall, who'll be a senior).

Derrick Green seems to be high on OSU and I'm sure there are other RB offers out there.  If one of them commits first, I'm not sure there would be room for Smith.


February 16th, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

Why do people take everything a recruit says when talking to media about their recruitment at face value? Not every kid has the desire to put their sincere thoughts out to the internets about their recruitment. Many play it right down the middle until they make their decision.


February 16th, 2012 at 3:18 PM ^

Just a note on him:

Both his brothers were Division 1 athletes. Maurice Smith was a monster who went to Michigan State before later finishing up at FCS Youngstown State. Lance Smith played at Wisconsin and seem to be the heir apparent to PJ Hill before finishing up at Memphis. Very talented family. Not sure if either brother had offers from OSU, but it is safe to say he and his family are familiar with Big Ten schools and recruiting.

Also- Howland which is my alma mater is a completely different school district than Warren Harding (Manningham, Antwan Molden, Boom Herron, Maurice Clarett, DJ Williamson, Davion Rogers). Both schools have produced a ton of Big 10 talent however.



February 16th, 2012 at 6:31 PM ^

down below, just wanted to give you a big FU since you're from howland. ;)

one more year with de'veon, then harding completely curb-stomps you in '13 and then i assume your AD will beg off the series...haha

edit to add: both schools have produced talent, yours usually comes from warren.