Thursday, July 2, 2015

Michigan Thursday: Can't Listen To a Clunker

Jimmy went on the Colin Cowherd show yesterday and it was one of the worst interviews I have ever heard.   Cowherd was his usual self but Jimmy wasn't in the mood for an interview and it was very hard to listen to.   Listen at your own risk

A couple of thoughts on why it was a disaster:

  • Jimmy clearly is or isn't in the mood for these type of interviews, the people close to him should gauge that and make the decision to do it or cancel it.   I hear he was very engaging the night before at the Tigers game.

  • Cowherd starts the interview in comparing Jimmy to one of his hated rivals Pete Carroll.  That is not a way to start an interview with Jim Harbaugh.

  • Cowherd starts with a stupid question, before even saying hello, strike two.

  • Strike three was a very poorly phased question that the "Big Ten was a buy", what he meant was a league on the rise - like buying a stock, not a bye week.  I was confused when I heard the question as well.
Jimmy wasn't in the mood for this type of interview and probably should have cancelled it or re-scheduled.   That's on him. 

Cowherd being a radio blowhard is on him. 
My take on it?  I could care less if my coach is great in front of the media and does or doesn't want to do interviews.  We have had two coaches that did a good job on the radio in RR and Hoke but sucked on the field.   I will take a guy that lives and breathes football and doesn't have time for the Cowherd's of the world as long as he puts up W's each week on the field, with the team and during recruiting. 

  • Nik Stauskas got traded to the 76'ers.  Let's hope he gets some minutes with them.   Sacramento is a mess anyway, so going from one mess to another shouldn't be a big deal.   He might get a chance to play with GR3 again if he can stick with them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wolverine Wednesday: Welcomes You To July

This isn't a great time of year for football news.  We have the July 4th holiday coming up this weekend and most coaches are taking a break before the grind of the season starts which starts in about a month.   Jimmy is throwing out the first pitch at the Tigers game and waiting to hear if he picked up a WR on Friday.  (he probably already knows if he did or didn't).   The top recruits in the country are preparing to head out to Nike's HQ for The Opening after the 4th holiday.

We also wait on the Nike/UA/Adidas decision from Mr. Hackett as well.  He said, he would give us a decision around July 1.   Rumblings have been toward Nike as Adidas has dropped to third in US sales behind Nike and UA.  Nike does over 11 Billion in the US, Adidas does less then 2 Billion.  

  • Per Scout's message board: Rashan Gary's mom was quoted about the Michigan trip:  "Michigan hit every detail," Jennifer Coney said.  "EVERY detail."  Reports of an OSU and Michigan battle now seem to be an Auburn - Michigan battle for the #1 player in the nation.

  • Another WR high on Michigan and vise versa is Ahmir Mitchell who is taking his time and thinking through a decision.  Most believe this to be an OSU and Michigan battle for this talented WR.   If Brad Hawkins pops for the Wolverines on Friday, don't be surprised if Ahmir makes a quick decision as the space in this class is getting very tight.

  • Speaking of Nike News:  Phil Knight announced he is going to retire next year.  Will it be with or with out the Wolverines?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Michigan Tuesday: Michigan's Big Board

With St-Juste in the class, Michigan has 20 commitments for the 2016 class.   Right now they have 14-15 spots and still recruiting some big named guys.  I think the class will end up in the 24-25 range which means a number of guys won't be getting a 5th year.

Michigan has a number of offers on the street but with only 5 spots left and still plenty of needs on defensive line, LB, TE and WR.   I don't have any first hand knowledge on Jimmy's big board, this is just my educated guess:

#1:  There is little doubt that DT Rashan Gary is the Wolverines top prospect in the 2016 class as he is rated as the #1 player in the nation.  Michigan has hired his HS head coach and reportedly impressed Mom this weekend on her son's second visit to Ann Arbor.   Many believe this could be a Michigan - OSU battle, but you never know if Alabama will show him that earthquake simulator.

#2: LB Caleb Kelly is a great fit in Michigan's defense but he is really going to be hard to get out of California.  Michigan has a great shot as anyone if he leaves the state but the odds on favorite to win this recruiting battle is UCLA. 

#3: DE Xavier Kelly just released his final 8 schools yesterday (Bama, FSU, Clemson, GA, TCU, Kansas State, Oregon and the Wolverines).  Kelly was in A2 a couple of weeks ago for a great visit but he will be one of the nation's top recruited players and pulling him in from Kansas could be tough.

#4: LB Devin Bush Jr. who we know already has two teammates heading to A2 next year.  Jimmy did a Satellite Camp with his father and it sounds like Michigan is his leader.   The longer this plays out the worse it is for Michigan.   His father is FSU legacy and it might be hard to get him out of the Sunshine State.

#5: TE Nasier Upshur just visited Ann Arbor and will announce on the 8th.  This kid has offers from everybody but really seems to like the Wolverines.   Jimmy and staff will have to recruit him up to the bell, but Michigan has a very good shot at landing this talented TE. 

That is who I would consider my Top 5 recruits for the Wolverines.   There isn't one WR on there and Michigan might need two. 

Others that just missed the top 5 include:

  • WR Brad Hawkins who announces on Friday
  • OL Terrance Davis who has had Michigan as his leader for awhile
  • LB Dontavious Jackson from Houston, TX
With 20 spots filled and 5 left at max.  There isn't much space left in Ann Arbor.  That might be a reason why Hawkins is announcing on Friday instead of waiting to take another visit to Ann Arbor in a couple of weeks. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Michigan Monday: A Few Recruiting Tidbits

  • 4 star WR Brad Hawkins from Camden (N.J.) High, will announce his college choice on Friday during a ceremony at his school.  His final schools are South Carolina, Rutgers, Michigan and Temple.  He was planning another visit to Ann Arbor for July, which maybe a good or bad sign for the Wolverines chances.   He is a teammate of Ron Johnson.   Michigan needs some WR in this class!  Update: Brad added Oregon to the list of finished he is picking from.  It's expected to be a Michigan vs. South Carolina decision.

  •  We all know that Rashan Gary was on campus this weekend.   I hope we hear more news leaking out on how the visit went.  This seems to be a good sign:

  •  4 star and recent Ann Arbor visitor, 2016 TE Naseir Upshur is expected to announce his decision on 8/8.  His final list is Michigan, Alabama, South Carolina, Temple, Maryland, FSU, ASU, and USC.  The rumor mill was saying that he was close to committing to Michigan on his visit but didn't pull the trigger.  If he was announcing today, I would very confident for a Maize and Blue decision, waiting 6 weeks or so makes me less comfortable.

With Pewee making ESPN headlines on Friday, I wondered what some of the other players thought about it.  This tweet came from a guy that has multiple concussions and injuries at Michigan.  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pewee Going To Transfer - Jimmy Asks Him To Retire

This might get ugly folks.   It's life in Big Time Football.  

I have always been a fan of Ondre "Pewee" Pipkins.   He was a big 4 star recruit in a much needed position.   We have been waiting for him to blow up offensive lineman and be a big factor on defense.   That time never came and it looks like it won't be.

ESPN has a story on their front page that Jimmy pressured Pewee to retire due to injury concerns.  

Pewee says he believe he is healthy and ready to play during his senior year.  

"I feel I'm healthy and ready to play," said Pipkins, who played last season after he was cleared to return from a torn knee ligament. "I don't want to sign the form. I wanted to play for my seniors and for the team. Coach Harbaugh said, 'I recommend you take the medical.'"

Jimmy disagrees:

"After consulting with our medical team, we do not think it is in Ondre's best interest as it relates to his health and welfare to play football, short or long term," Harbaugh said in a statement given to ESPN on Friday. "He remains on full scholarship and counts toward the 85 scholarship limit in pursuit of graduation from the University of Michigan."

Sounds like Pewee has had a number of injuries at Michigan:

  • 2 concussions (last one in Spring Ball)
  • ACL tear
  • Arthritis in the injured knee
As I said, I'm a fan of Pewee and if you have followed this blog you know what I think about concussions.  After his second one,  I don't think he should play football any longer.   That is my opinion, which doesn't matter here.   I don't like that Pewee can't finish his football career and his education at Michigan but I also don't like the risks of him playing.   Neither side is wrong but none of it feels right.

*Brian at Mgoblog makes a good point, why would Jimmy want his scholarship?  Michigan is at 85 right now and Pewee is a senior.   Having a extra spot in the Fall helps the team out how?  It wouldn't effect the 2016 class and they just turned away a DE transfer from ND. 

Michigan Friday: Big Visit and Big Commit

Let's start with the commitment of 4 star DE Ron Johnson, Jr.   As expected he pulled the trigger on a commitment after Khalid Kareem picked Bama and during his visit to Ann Arbor.   Ron hasn't been hiding his attention and tweeted out he and his parents knew where he wanted and should go, before his visit. 

Ron has a lot of potential on the field and for nicknames.   He could go RoJo or maybe Ron John?  Plenty of options there.   For his football ability, he is a 6'4 and 230 pounds and ranked a 4 star player by all the services outside of Scouts which list him as a 3 star.   His feedback as a player is very similar to what you might expect to hear for many DE's that is going into their senior year.   He needs to work on his strength and his pass rush technique. 

RoJo (too early?) had a nice offer list that included:  Alabama, ASU, BC, Ole Miss, Nebraska, ND, OSU, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina, VT, Wisconsin and many others.   His offer list is very impressive and looks like a top 4 /5 star list. 

Ron John (better?) is the 20th commit to the class (with St-Juste), which is filling up daily.  I don't see how Michigan has 5 more spots but that would be the max for sure.   Look for the commit train to slow down now as the Wolverines hold spots for WR's and the top guys in the class. 

Did I mention the top guys in the class?

The #1 player in the class DT Rashan Gary is expected in Ann Arbor today after spending Thursday at "that team down South".  Let's hope the Wolverines are not stopping the NJ pipeline anytime soon.

  • Tim Hardaway got traded last night in a draft deal that sends him to the Atlanta Hawks. 

  • Is this a sign?  Terrance Davis a 4 star offensive lineman from DeMatha Catholic had 4 crystal ball predictions on 24/7 flip to Michigan.  With 20 commits, room at the Inn is filling up quick.
With so few spots left in the 2016 class, I will do a Big Board update next week on what I believe are the top players still on the Wolverines board.   Michigan still has needs at WR, CB, DT and one more outside LB.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Michigan Thursday: Got One - Missed One and Visit Updates

Michigan thought they might land a number of top recruits yesterday.   They got one and lost one. 

Khalid Kareem one of the state's top players changed his mind yesterday morning and picked Alabama over the Wolverines.   As the one of the posters on Mgoblog said that made me laugh is: "that damn earthquake simulator strikes again!"  Khalid said, he wanted to compete early for playing time for a team that competes for National Championships.   With Bama's roster, I'm not sure how early he will be able to compete for playing time, Mr. Hand didn't see a ton of time last year.

As for other DE prospects Michigan is recruiting:  Xavier Kelly from Kansas and Ron Johnson Jr. who is on campus right now.

The player that committed yesterday is a 6'6 270 pound 4 star OT Devery Hamilton.   Michigan is quickly assembling one of the best offensive lines classes in the country with Hamilton, Swenson, Onwenu, and Bredeson.   Michigan has also heavy interest from highly ranked guys like Terrance Davis and EJ Price.    Welcome aboard Devery! 

Visit Updates 

On Campus:

  • 4 Star TE Naseir Upshur from Philly
  • 4 Star WR Ahmir Mitchell from NJ
  • 4 Star DE Ron Johnson Jr. from NJ
  • 4 Star (2017) Center Cesar Ruiz
Would love to land all 4 of those guys but I would put Upshur and Johnson on commit watch.   After the Kareem Bama commit, I would be surprised if Johnson left campus with out a commit.

Coming Friday:
  • 5 Star DT and #1 Player in the nation Rashan Gary will be in Ann Arbor this weekend.  He is visiting OSU today. 
Coming in July: 4 Star WR Brad Hawkins has rescheduled his visit for July 18th

Visited but not coming:
  •  ND Transfer Jhonny Williams will be looking at other programs as Michigan doesn't have enough scholarships right now.  Since he is a transfer Jhonny needs a scholarship right now, even though he would have to sit out a year.