Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Michigan Tuesday: In-State Prospect is Announcing This Week

As expected there wasn't much of anything coming out of Schembechler Hall this holiday weekend. So hearing one of the State's top prospect is going to announce his decision is definitely news worthy.  
4 Star St. Joseph's SDE Corey Malone-Hatcher is going to announce his decision on Thursday at 3:30.  It's expected to be a Michigan-ND battle for this talented 6'3 246 pound pass rusher.

His offer list is an impressive one and includes the likes of Alabama, Iowa, Louisville, MSU, Minnesota, Nebraska, OSU, Oklahoma, ND, Tennessee, Wisconsin and UCLA. 

Rivals ranks him #13 SDE nationally and 7th player in the state of Michigan.

  • Michigan made the top 6 for 4 Star Vegas DT Greg Rogers.  The others include OU, USC, Colorado, UCLA and Arizona State.

  • Michigan also made the top 12 for 4 star Alabama DE Ryan Johnson.

  • Michigan is making strides with 5 star CA CB Darnay Holmes, he is good friends with 2016 Michigan commit David Long.  Holmes is expected to visit Michigan this fall.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Michigan Friday: Thinks Out Loud On Baylor

Winning in college football is important.  As Michigan fans we had gotten comfortable with our 10+ wins a year and a New Years Day Bowl.   Many including myself thought if we put in a innovative coach and recruit a few more athletes we would be playing for National Championships. 

Well, we know that didn't work out and Michigan has been digging itself out of a deep hole of dysfunction.   That hole now seems behind us and were finally moving in the right direction.  

What if you don't have that tradition and support? 
What if your trying to build a winning program at a school not known for winning?
Do you cut corners? 
Do you get wealthy supporters to help the cause with $10K hand shakes? 
Do you play kids who get in trouble?  
Do you even try to intervene in a police matter and "convince" people not to press charges?  
Do you cover up that there is a sexual assault problem on your team?

Have we really gotten to that place?  Places like Baylor and Ole Miss have struggled to put a winner on the field for decades.   It's hard to compete with the likes of Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, LSU and Florida when it comes to recruiting.   So how do they build a winner?

They take chances and sometimes even make un-believable decisions to keep guys on the team that have done un-speakable things.   Baylor's case is more Penn State then Ole Miss.   When Ole Miss started to reel in 5 stars in a class 3/4 years ago, all the whispers started.    They even pulled 5 star WR Laquon Treadwell from Michigan who quickly posted a photo of himself with a ton of cash on social media.   When you think about it, paying kids to come to your school is not even in the same universe as what happened at Baylor. 

I wasn't shocked that Jim Harbaugh's new friend Art Briles was fired yesterday.    Jim and Art seemingly became new friends as Art spoke at Michigan's coaching clinic recently.  Michigan and Baylor had also agreed to do a joint Satellite Camp together.   I'm guessing that camp is now in doubt.

Art had to go and will probably receive a "show" clause from the NCAA.    He might even be looking at criminal charges.   What he is accused of doing for winning football games, should make you sick.  

How did we get here?  Winning football games is not worth it.  I don't care how much money your program is making or how much the head coach is making.    There is a way to do the right thing and still have a good football program.   Why risk everything to put a criminal on the field?  Or even worse, try to cover up those criminal charges by intimidating a victim.   I guess these guys didn't learn anything from the Penn State situation. 

For a long time, I thought concussions were the biggest risk to the sport we love, I'm starting to think these "cover-up" coaches will take down college football just as fast.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Michigan Thursday: NJ Paramus Camp Is Blowing Up

This come from our favorite media outlet (freep alert) but it sounds like the Paramus Satellite Camp is really attracting a ton of kids:

Paramus president James Vail announced today that the Next Level Elite Camp on June 8 has had to cap registration at 600 kids. The original allotment of 400 filled up in just eight days.

It quickly expanded to 450 campers with the planned use of fields, lawns, the school gym, tennis courts, and chalk talk in classrooms. Plans for represented colleges moved from seven or eight to 37, plus one NFL head coach, the Baltimore Ravens' John Harbaugh.

But with Jim Harbaugh, when it becomes a competition, it's never enough. Now the Paramus camp is up to 600 participants from 200 schools and also will utilize the Bergen Community College fields across the street. There will be 80 college coaches from 40 teams in 10 states and Washington, D.C.

  • The OSU/Rutgers camp that conflicts with the above Paramus camp will have Brian Billick.   Current vs. former Raven coaching camp stand off!

  • Rivals is reporting that Jimmy and Staff will be holding 50 camps in the month of June.   Get that jet fueled up.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wolverine Wednesday: Drake Johnson Forklift Accident Details Released

The Detroit News got the police report from the Drake Johnson forklift accident.   To quote Jimmy: “I can tell you this, it would have killed a lesser man, but he is blue twisted steel, very flexible and amazing,”

According to the police report, the driver of the forklift / utility vehicle, Matt Johnson, said he was “moving a large cabinet and was traveling with the cabinet about eye level. He stopped at the large garage door and a co-worker opened the door for him.”

In the report, Matt Johnson said he drove into the building “and felt a bump, stating he thought he ran over a starting block, when he saw Drake Johnson, a student-athlete, roll from under the forklift. And M. Johnson realized he had ran over Drake Johnson who was sitting on the track floor stretching.”

Drake Johnson was examined at the scene by an athletic trainer, then examined by a University of Michigan doctor at Schembechler Hall, the football building, and then was transported to the U-M Hospital emergency room by athletic staff.

Drake seems to be fine and ran track this Spring.   He even mentioned that he feels his legs are stronger from running track.  This is un-believable and I'm very happy he wasn't seriously injured.   He has had more than his fair share of injuries as a Wolverine (2 ACL's). 

  • James "Biggie" Ross will sign a free agent contract with the Chargers.

  • After his visit last weekend, VA WDE Luiji Vilain will make his final decision next month between Michigan, Virginia Tech, and USC.   I mention this to you in a low "silent" voice.   :)

  • Future Michigan QB Dylan McCaffrey hasn't done any interviews after committing to Michigan.  Here is a quick one after his Elite 11/Opening camp in Oakland this past weekend.

  • Michigan just offered a name you may recognize:  Robert Porcher IV a 2017 DE from Orlando.  Yes, he is the son of former Detroit Lions pass rusher Robert Porcher.  

  • Instate DB Ambry Thomas got offered by UCLA yesterday

  • Speaking of UCLA, they are the latest University to leave Adidas.  They are going to Under Armour.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Michigan Tuesday: Wolverines Making Progress with Ambry Thomas

The State of Michigan has some solid prospects in the class of 2017 and one of the most talented is 4 star CB Ambry Thomas from Detroit King.   Thomas visited Ann Arbor again this past weekend with his cousin Jaylen Kelly-Powell.  

“The visit was good,” Thomas told The Michigan Insider. “I got to sit and talk to the coaches. I talked with like the whole defensive staff. They asked me what I was I waiting on (laughter).”

“I’m taking my time with this process, so I still got to weigh my options and make sure I pick the school right for me,” said Thomas.

Thomas is ranked the #77 player in the nation and #9 CB by Scouts.  Michigan off course would love to get commits from Thomas and Kelly-Powell. 

  • Speaking of JKP he received an offer from Illinois yesterday.

  • Michigan will host Virginia Tech for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Monday, May 23, 2016

Michigan Monday: Another Future Wolverine Heading To The Opening

Michigan is having another strong recruiting class and many guys are heading to Nike's Opening this summer.   If you don't know, the Opening is a Nike event made for the elite football prospects high school seniors (and some juniors).  Nike does regional combines/camps to identify the invitees and brings them on the Nike's campus in July to learn from some football legends, train, and play in a 7 on 7 tournament. 

The latest future Wolverine to get an invite to the Opening and Elite 11 is 5 star QB Dylan McCaffrey.  He got an invite at the Oakland Nike event this past weekend.   He is the 5th Wolverine commit heading to Oregon this summer.   The others include:

  • A.J. Dillon
  • Josh Ross
  • Benjamin St-Juste
  • O'Maury Samuels
  • Dylan McCaffrey

Of course other prospects attending the Opening include: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, OG Jordan Reid,  TE Matt Dotson, CB Ambry Thomas, and CB Jaylen Kelly-Powell.

  • Sam Webb got a gut feeling from a recruit on campus this weekend.   Which means someone has silently committed.

  • One of those visitors was Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal 4-star DE Luiji Vilain who know has Michigan in his top 3.  Love the name!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Michigan Friday: Jimmy Can See The Future

I heard someone say that a good college coach can see a high school RB and know he will be effective at the next level. A great college coach can look at a high school RB and see an All American linebacker.  

To me this is a perfect way to describe Jim Harbaugh.  I also believe this is why he wants to spend most of his summer vacation looking at every HS prospect in the nation.    We have seen a ton of positions changes under Jimmy including - 4 star QB Zach Gentry's move to TE.    Something you might have missed is the Benjamin St-Juste story.   BSJ was an under the radar Canadian CBthat committed to the Wolverines out of nowhere last summer.   He re-classified to the 2017 class so he could get his international documents and Canadian transcripts in order.   He wasn't ranked by any of the services and when they got around to it, they gave him a 2 or low 3 star ranking.      BSJ just lit up one of the Nike Opening Regional events and now has an invite to Finals.    Let's watch him quickly rise to a 4 star CB in this class.

  • Some good news on five-star Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones recruitment.   He has been shadowing some Dr.'s at the U of M Hospital.   That is a great sign he is really thinking about coming to A2.

  • VA WDE Luigi Vilain has a great name and is expected to visit this weekend.

  • OH SDE James Hudson is also expected in and just de-committed from UK.

  • You might recognize this last name:  Michigan is recruiting Jacksonville 2018 WR Will Mallory who is 6-5 and 200 pounds.