So Who Were the Bad Apples?

Submitted by Kilgore Trout on July 29th, 2009 at 1:24 PM

After all of the talk about everyone "buying in" this season and how there were leadership issues last year, it got me to trying to figure out who these bad apples were last year. I certainly understand and can sympathize with the stress of a regime change that late in your career. (Happened to me in high school golf and really kind of ruined my senior year. Obviously a couple orders of magnitude less important, but you know...) So here's a list of last year's fifth year seniors and seniors who didn't come back.

5 Charles Stewart**** S / 6-2 206 5th Sr. 03/11/86 Farmington Hills, Mich. (Harrison)
35 Doug Dutch*** CB / 5-11 204 5th Sr. 02/15/86 Bowie, Md. (Gonzaga College)
34 Jason Gingell** K / 5-9 194 5th Sr. 12/30/85 Northville, Mich. (Catholic Central)
49 John Thompson**** LB / 6-1 239 5th Sr. 02/10/86 Detroit, Mich. (Crockett Technical)
84 K.C. Lopata** K / 6-2 233 5th Sr. 02/11/86 Farmington, Mich. (Farmington)
83 Mike Massey**** TE / 6-5 225 5th Sr. 06/16/85 Brecksville, Ohio (St. Ignatius)
14 Morgan Trent**** CB / 6-1 188 5th Sr. 12/14/85 San Diego, Calif. (Orchard Lake St. Mary's, Mich.)
59 Sean Griffin** LS / 6-2 243 5th Sr. 03/04/86 Livonia, Mich. (Catholic Central)
30 Shakir Edwards* S / 6-0 210 5th Sr. 03/01/86 Detroit, Mich. (Martin Luther King)
90 Tim Jamison**** DE / 6-3 263 5th Sr. 02/26/86 Riverdale, Ill. (Harvey Thornton)
97 Will Johnson**** DT / 6-5 285 5th Sr. 11/09/85 Oakland, Mich. (Lake Orion)
54 Austin Panter** LB / 6-3 231 Sr. 12/18/86 Butler CC Athol, Kan. (Butler CC) (Kensington)
27 Brandon Harrison**** S / 5-9 206 Sr. 11/06/86 Dayton, Ohio (Chaminade-Julienne)
46 Brandon Logan*** LB / 6-1 208 Sr. 02/17/87 Lexington, Ky. (Lexington Catholic)
67 Terrance Taylor**** DT / 6-0 319 Sr. 05/14/86 Muskegon, Mich. (Muskegon)
85 Carson Butler*** DE / 6-5 250 Sr./Jr. 08/21/87 Detroit, Mich. (Renaissance)

So Thompson, Trent, Jamison, Johnson, Taylor, Massey, and Harrison seem to be the ones most likely to have been in an expected leadership position. I'd say they all had reasonable seasons considering their past performance and expectations (other than Massey, who seemed to have no place to go in this system) and seemed to always say the right thing. We would also have to think that the transfers were probably in the "bad apple" camp as well. Just curious as to who the troublemakers were and if they're all gone now, or maybe there have been buy ins / conversions among those left over. I don't mean to call out or belittle kids put in a tough spot by the way.



July 29th, 2009 at 1:34 PM ^

I think bad apples is the wrong term for these guys. There definately were some(Wermers) but i think its that these guys were indoctrinated by Lloyd Carr. not to say that is a bad thing but it was just so different. IT was a culture shock for them and they didn't have time to get a relationship with RR and the staff like what they had with Carr. Think about it they had less than a year with RR. Look at the end of the season when things started to click. I think the team was finally starting to have good working relationship with the staff. If the learning can continue i foresee good things for this program.


July 29th, 2009 at 1:43 PM ^

Rodriguez alluded to this at media day. He said (and I'm paraphrasing), "Last year there were guys who would run through a wall for me, but they asked 'why?' Now they understand why they're doing these things."

I don't think that the "bad apples" were actually cancers. I just think there were some guys who were less enthusiastic/more suspicious than others.

On that note, I don't really care anymore who the bad apples were. Obviously, Carson Butler was a douche (for many reasons), so let's get that out of the way. But I used to care who these cancers were, and now I just think it's in the past and pretty useless.


July 29th, 2009 at 2:20 PM ^

Butler wasn't a douche...he was a choir-boy with a heart of gold who was like a son to Lloyd. Rich Rod had an irrational hatred for Butler, and did not allow him to reach his full potential, which was most likely first round draft pick.

Also, did you know that MSU is cleaning up in in-state recruiting!!!

turbo cool

July 29th, 2009 at 2:20 PM ^

First, I agree with Magnus. There were not a lot of 'bad apples', just guys who after 3 or 4 years had their football program completely changed. To say they were shocked, and at times a little pissed, is an understatement.

And second, a lot of people on mgoblog love to bash Massey but if you knew anything about the team last 2-3 years he was one of the best leaders and consistently one of the guys that others looked up to. Just ask the guys on the team.