Just like a few weeks ago, I’ve been busy with school and have had a bunch of news pile up. As a result, I’ve separated quick hits into different posts for football, basketball, and hockey.
- Rich Rodriguez filled the vacancy on his coaching staff by promoting quality control assistant Adam Braithwaite to safeties/outside linebackers coach. Braithwaite’s experience as a position coach/coordinator is mainly limited to lower divisions, but he was a graduate assistant for Rodriguez at West Virginia and a quality control assistant the last two seasons at Michigan. To me this was a pretty “meh” move, but I guess Rodriguez wanted some continuity considering Braithwaite has been around the team for a couple years.
- This move means that Greg Robinson is now in charge of coaching the inside linebackers and Tony Gibson is responsible for the cornerbacks and free safeties. Gibson is also now the team’s special teams coordinator. Regarding that move, the release said this: “Rodriguez will continue to have all of the coaches remain involved with a certain phase of special teams, but Gibson will manage that phase of the game on a daily basis and on game day.”
- Before Rich Rodriguez’s press conference on signing day, I wondered to myself if any questions would be about Demar Dorsey, who has an interesting past, to say the least. Well, there were multiple questions about Dorsey and his brushes with the law, but Rodriguez came to his future player’s defense each time before the media was finally told to move on. The media did move on at the press conference, but the Free Press followed up with a lengthy article detailing what exactly Dorsey has done. The article sheds some light on the type of trouble he has been in and includes some quotes from Dorsey on what happened and why he decided to come to Michigan. One of the big reasons he picked Michigan is to escape the type of people that have brought him down in the past, though he already is trying to do that and (knock on wood) hasn’t been in any trouble since 2008. I certainly understand some of the concern over taking a player like Dorsey, but I’m glad he is coming to Michigan and hope he is a changed person.
- Somebody who isn’t a changed person is Drew Sharp. I say that because, unsurprisingly, he was a huge douchebag about the whole Dorsey situation and made some extremely unprofessional comments. Like Rob Parker, I will never understand why Sharp has a job and manages to get on ESPN as often as he does. It’s so blatantly obvious that Sharp’s schtick is simply to write and say negative/controversial things to drum up attention. He isn’t anything close to an actual journalist (this picture from MVictors certainly seems to show that) and is nothing more than an assclown, as the folks at the MZone used to call him.
- Rich Rodriguez said there was one school in the Big Ten doing a lot of negative recruiting. He didn’t name the school, but he did say that it wasn’t Ohio State. Rumors suggest that the school in question is either Minnesota, Purdue, or Michigan State. Based on how big of a problem Danny Hope seems to have with Rodriguez, my bet is that Purdue is the school behind the negative recruiting.
- Antonio Kinard appears to be the only member of the 2010 recruiting class in danger of not qualifying.
- AnnArbor.com put together a comprehensive Q&A with Michigan’s 2010 recruiting class.
- Also from AnnArbor.com is an interview with Devin Gardner from signing day.
- MGoBlog has video and transcripts of interviews from signing day with early enrollees and coaches.
- Ricardo Miller hopes he can be the next Braylon Edwards.
- Austin White put in a lot of extra work last fall in order to be able to enroll early.
- Baquer Sayed, a receiver from Dearborn Fordson, will join the Michigan football team next season as a preferred walk-on. Sayed had offers from a couple MAC schools, but he opted to play for Michigan as a walk-on instead.
- The Big House Blog has more news on recruits who will join the team as walk-ons as well as an interview with kicker Jeremy Ross, who is from Pioneer High School.
- Mark Moundros will line up at fullback and linebacker this spring.
- Had Calvin Magee got the South Florida job, he would have wanted to take some Michigan assistants with him, including Greg Frey, Tony Dews, and the newly-promoted Adam Braithwaite.
- The Board of Regents met on signing day for an informal meeting to discuss the NCAA’s investigation of practicegate. No real news has come out of the meeting, but hopefully it is a sign that the investigation is close to wrapping up.
- There is a photo gallery on MGoBlue giving us a look inside the suites in Michigan Stadium.
- “72 percent of the suites and 77 percent of club seats” that will open in the Big House next season have been sold.
- Mike Hart would like to be Michigan’s head coach someday.
- The Michigan Daily’s Andy Reid wrote a great article about Antonio Bass.
- Tyrone Wheatley has been hired by Syracuse to be the Orange’s running backs coach.
- Teryl Austin, a former Michigan assistant, is Florida’s new defensive coordinator. Urban Meyer sure likes former Michigan assistant coaches.
- Former Michigan coach Mike DeBord has landed in Chicago as the Bears’ tight ends coach.
- Former Michigan players Jonathan Goodwin and Adrian Arrington and former coaches Mike Mallory and Terry Malone are Super Bowl champions as a result of the Saints’ victory over the Colts last Sunday.
- The NCAA has proposed some new rules for the 2011 season.
- A 13-year-old quarterback committed to USC. Weird doesn’t even begin to describe this news.
- It was only a matter of time, but Big Ten expansion rumors involving Texas have popped up in recent days.
- Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said that if the Big Ten were to call, the Cornhuskers would certainly listen.
- Michigan State changed its mind and is no longer going to change its logo as a result of all the backlash it received over the news. It is going to change its shade of green, although that’s not really all that big of a deal.
- Ohio defensive end Jibreel Black committed to Michigan over the weekend. Black originally committed to Indiana and later switched to Cincinnati before eventually deciding on Michigan. He has offers from those schools as well as Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Minnesota, NC State, Purdue, South Carolina, Wake Forest, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. He is a 3-star on Rivals and ESPN and a 4-star on Scout. Overall it seems like he has a lot of upside as a defensive lineman and is somebody who can contribute early on in his career.
- With Black on board, Michigan’s recruiting class technically now has 27 players. It’s probably actually 26, though. There is no official news on Tony Drake’s status yet, but Scout has already removed him from Michigan’s list of commitments. Assuming he will not be part of the class and there will be no decommitments or non-qualifiers (that’s a big assumption), Michigan’s class is filled up. However, there are still two big recruits out there who have yet to choose a school — Sean Parker and Rashad Knight. Michigan would definitely make room for them if they want to commit, but as it stands right now I believe that would mean another commit or two would have to grayshirt. There’s no point in speculating just yet, as you never know if the entire class will make it to signing day or if Parker and Knight will even pick Michigan, but it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. (Demar Dorsey ended up committing to Florida State, by the way.)
- Kelvin Grady has returned to the basketball team. He approached John Beilein about returning, wondering if he could do anything to help the team. Beilein saw that he could be a big help in terms of bringing quickness to the scout team, which is where he will likely spend most of his time right now. It isn’t expected that he will get into a game unless injuries force him to play, because Beilein doesn’t want to burn a year of eligibility this far into the season in case Grady decides to become a two-sport athlete and continue to play basketball in the future.
- Michigan followed up Friday’s impressive win over Ferris State with a crushing loss in Big Rapids on Saturday. There wasn’t a ton of action during the first period, but Ferris State led after 20 minutes thanks to a soft shorthanded goal. Bryan Hogan simply whiffed on the weak shot from a pretty good distance out, letting the Bulldogs go up 1-0. Michigan answered back in the second period with a power-play goal, but the Bulldogs retook the lead before time expired to go into the third period up 2-1. Just like the second game of the series against Alaska, Michigan waited and waited but eventually did tie things up with less than two minutes left. Against FSU on Saturday Michigan went on the power play and Brian Lebler scored on an awesome tip in off of a nice pass from David Wohlberg. Unfortunately Michigan took a bad penalty (it seemed to be a makeup call more than anything) right after it tied things up. Ferris State put on the pressure, and following a terrible turnover by Chris Summers in his own zone, the Bulldogs scored with only 24 seconds left to eventually win 3-2.
This was a tough loss to take considering Michigan was so close to going to overtime and getting a tie. The fact that Michigan did lose, though, makes this coming weekend’s series with Michigan State all the more important. MSU has been struggling a bit as of late, and if Michigan could avenge the Spartans’ sweep from earlier this season with one of its own, suddenly the Wolverines’ tournament hopes would be in pretty good shape. I would settle for a win and a tie and a split at worst. Another sweep by MSU, though, could be a knockout blow for Michigan’s season.
- Erin Andrews will be in Ann Arbor for tonight’s game against Michigan State.
- Purdue’s Chris Kramer and Matt Painter were whining about elbows again on Saturday during the Michigan game.
- Lost Letterman interviewed Cazzie Russell.
- Four former Michigan players (Mike Hart and Marlin Jackson for Indy; Adrian Arrington and Jonathan Goodwin for NO) and two former coaches (Terry Malone and Mike Mallory for NO) are going to the Super Bowl.
- Tai Streets and Desmond Howard played in Curtis Granderson’s celebrity basketball game on Sunday and were asked about Rich Rodriguez. Jalen Rose and Jimmy King also played in the game, and Lloyd Carr was one of the honorary coaches.
- Urban Meyer’s leave of absence didn’t last long.
It had been a while since I did a quick hits post, and since I had so many links saved up, I figured I would do a separate post for each of the main sports to break it all up.
- The 2010 spring game will be held on April 17.
- Brandon Graham was honored during the UConn game last Sunday for being the Chicago Tribune’s co-Big Ten MVP. Rich Rodriguez presented Graham with the award, and the crowd saluted Graham with a standing ovation.
- After the game and after the crowd stormed the floor the Detroit News snapped an awesome picture of Brandon Graham and Devin Gardner embracing
- Mark Snyder, once a candidate to join Michigan’s coaching staff, ended up being hired as South Florida’s defensive coordinator. Rich Rodriguez will continue to evaluate candidates, and as he has stressed in the past, there’s no guarantee that a linebackers coach will be hired. Instead a defensive backs coach could be hired and other assistants would simply have their roles reassigned. That is what would have likely happened had Chuck Heater come to Michigan. In all likelihood he would have been involved with the secondary and Greg Robinson likely would have taken over linebackers.
- Brandon Smith ended up transferring to Temple.
- Teric Jones is moving back to running back/slot receiver after playing cornerback last season.
- Jerald Robinson has wasted little time in bulking up since coming to Ann Arbor.
- News on the recruiting front: Dillon Baxter has decided to stay committed to USC. Michigan made a good impression on Demar Dorsey, who visited last weekend. Sean Parker is visiting Washington this weekend, but it is believed that Michigan and USC are currently at the top of his list. Michigan seems to be in good shape with Rashad Knight.
- Rich Rodriguez made the first of three $500,000 payments to West Virginia for his buyout.
- Denard Robinson won the 60-meter dash last Saturday in the track meet against Ohio State. A video of the race (shot by mgoblog) can be found below.
- Via UMGoBlog, there is going to be an event at the Michigan Theater on February 21 titled “The Victors’ Rally – A Celebration of Michigan Football.” Very affordable tickets are on sale for the event, which sounds like it will be very interesting.
Join us Sunday, February 21, at 1:00 PM to watch football film highlights from games throughout the years, hear great guest speakers and the pep band, get free autographs and pictures with players, and maybe even see a surprise or two… very affordable ticket pricing has been set so that all can enjoy a nice maize & blue afternoon! See you there, and . . . . . . . Go Blue!
I’m not exactly sure why this event hasn’t been promoted more considering it seems like it will be quite entertaining, but I guess this is your official heads up while tickets are still available.
- WolverineHistorian uploaded a two-part video of the 2007 Michigan-Michigan State football game.
- At least one former Michigan player will get a Super Bowl ring.
- Adrian Arrington was activated this week by the Saints.
- Tennessee ended up replacing Lane Kiffin with Louisiana Tech’s Derek Dooley.
- Sonny Dykes replaced Dooley at Louisiana Tech.
- East Carolina hired Ruffin McNeill, the man who coached Texas Tech to a win in the Alamo Bowl, to replace Skip Holtz.
- Just for the record, here are my predictions for the 2008 season:
vs. Utah – W
vs. Miami (Ohio) – W
at Notre Dame – L
vs. Wisconsin – L
vs. Illinois – W
vs. Toledo – W
at Penn State – L
vs. Michigan State – W
at Purdue – W
at Minnesota – W
vs. Northwestern – W
at Ohio State – L
Final record: 8-4
I think Michigan could achieve a record as good as 10-2, although I don’t believe that will happen at all. At the same time, if things go really badly I think Michigan could only win 5 games. I really hope that doesn’t happen, but with so many question marks it could. In the end, I sort of compromised between the best and worst case scenarios and settled on 8-4.
(Note on the ND game: I don’t necessarily think Notre Dame is a better team than Michigan, but since it’s U-M’s first road game of the season, I don’t believe they will be able to win. They could come out and surprise me, but it’ll be tough to win just because it’s on the road and there is so much inexperience on offense.)
- Mark Snyder wrote a nice article about how Nick Sheridan became Michigan’s starting QB (assuming he is the starter).
- Via a post on MGoBoard, the marching band will play Blue Oyster Cult’s “Fear the Reaper” instead of “Respect” after the third quarter. The big reason for playing “Fear the Reaper” is due to the use of a cowbell in the song, which will give fans out there with a cowbell a chance to play along. The use of a cowbell was made famous by a hilarious sketch on SNL that can be seen here.
- Michigan commit Jeremy Gallon is taking snaps at quarterback for his high school. Gallon is an “athlete,” meaning he can play multiple positions. Usually athletes end up at wide receiver or cornerback, and the expectation is that Gallon will be playing at one of those positions at Michigan.
- RBUAS returns for one more post before the season begins.
- Marques Slocum’s F*** Lion has been inducted into the Deadspin Hall of Fame.
- Adrian Arrington is out for the season due to an injury. Before the injury occurred he had a legitimate shot of making the Saints’ roster, so it’s too bad he won’t get that chance now.
- Due to an approaching hurricane, today’s Appalachian State/LSU game is going to start at 11 a.m. ET (10 a.m. locally).
- Today is the first day the football team will be practicing in full pads. Back in middle school and high school this day was called Christmas, and you can understand why. Finally after months of tiring conditioning and waiting, players get to start full contact hitting again to really begin to get ready for the season opener against Utah.
- Wide receiver Junior Hemingway could be cleared to fully participate in practice by the end of the week, and it is expected that freshman offensive lineman Elliott Mealer will be out for all of fall camp due to a shoulder injury.
- Sam Webb updated us on the recruitment of Trey Zeigler, the son of Central Michigan’s basketball coach.
- The Wall Street Journal interviewed Rich Rodriguez and asked him many questions that have already been asked a million times by now.
- Gopher Nation wrapped up 2008′s first installment of the Big Ten Blogger’s roundtable.
- An Ohio University offensive lineman won the lottery.
- And finally, I will be participating in the famed BlogPoll this season, meaning each week you will get to see my picks for the top 25 teams in the nation.
- UPDATE: One last thing… Braylon Edwards made a filthy catch last night against the Jets, Shawn Crable had an interception against the Ravens, and Adrian Arrington caught 2 passes in his Saints debut.
- The Michigan athletic department expects to have a surplus of $10.3 million for fiscal year 2009. For the latest fiscal year, the athletic department is expecting a surplus of $14.2 million.
Although Bill Martin is best known for the renovations going on or the coaching hires he has made, both of those things pale in comparison to the job he’s done with the athletic department’s budget. Before he was hired it was consistently in the red, but it has now projected operating surpluses for eight straight years. Say what you want about how he handled the football coaching search, but the man knows how to run a successful business.
- The University of Michigan Board of Regents approved designs for the new $5.5 million wrestling facility.
- I’ll withhold my full judgment until Michigan launches their new marketing campaign, but how unsurprising is it that Michigan has only sold 14 of their 84 new handicap accessible seats? Back when Michigan reached a settlement to get rid of the lawsuit against them, I wondered to myself about whether or not the demand for disabled seating would be sufficient enough to fill the expanded supply. After all, there are going to be over 200 new handicap accessible seats by the 2010 season, so I questioned whether or not they would all be sold.
Again, I’ll wait to fully come to a conclusion on this until Michigan does attempt to sell them, but hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come. Even though Michigan Stadium didn’t meet the requirements for handicap seating, those new disabled seating areas better be filled considering they lowered the capacity of the stadium, forced season ticket holders to move, and cost money to be installed. And on top of that, people that do purchase disabled seating tickets don’t have to pay the seat license fee for the next three years.
I don’t want to sound like a complete asshole in regards to this topic as handicapped people do need to have enough seats in Michigan Stadium, but I just hope they are all filled come August 31, otherwise this whole lawsuit basically screwed Michigan over for nothing.
- Michigan is one of the favorites to land a top cornerback recruit who just de-committed from Arkansas.
- Sam Webb talked to one of the nation’s top running back recruits in his latest column for The Detroit News.
- Chris Herring of The Michigan Daily recently caught up with Adrian Arrington.
- MVictors found yet another interesting Michigan-related item on eBay.
- Notre Dame extended their TV deal with NBC through 2015.
Six former Michigan players were picked in the 2008 NFL Draft this past weekend. We already knew last week that Jake Long was the #1 overall selection as picked by the Dolphins, but we learned Saturday that he will be joined in Miami by Chad Henne. Henne was drafted by Miami with the 57th overall pick (second-round).
Day two of the draft featured four more Wolverines being drafted. Shawn Crable was picked 78th overall (third-round) by the New England Patriots. Next, Mario Manningham’s slide finally ended as the Super Bowl champion New York Giants picked him with the 95th selection of the draft (third-round).
The next Wolverine to be drafted was Mike Hart, who was taken by the Indianapolis Colts with the 202nd pick (sixth-round). I was shocked that it took so long for Hart to be picked. Even though his speed isn’t very good and he has injury problems, I thought he would at least be a fifth-round pick. I felt the same way about Adrian Arrington, who didn’t get drafted until New Orleans selected him with the 237th pick (seventh-round). I think Arrington will end up being a better pro receiver than Manningham, so I was definitely surprised to see him last so long.
One final surprise was that Jamar Adams wasn’t drafted at all. He has already signed a free agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks, but I expected him to at least be a seventh-round pick. Even one time Michigan player Ryan Mundy was a sixth-round pick after spending a year at West Virginia.
Perhaps the scariest revelation coming out of this weekend was just how good Ohio State will be next season. Other than Vernon Gholston, who was drafted 6th by the Jets, OSU had two players go in the seventh-round. That’s it. Next year’s draft will be filled with Buckeyes, but for the 2008 college football season, it’ll be like they are fielding an NFL team with all of the talent they have. We’re going to need a miracle in November.
- The Michigan hockey team split with Michigan State over the weekend to delay the clinching of the CCHA title for the Wolverines. U-M played a bad game on Friday at MSU as the Spartans won 5-2 in impressive fashion. That loss meant that Michigan could only clinch the CCHA title on Saturday at Joe Louis Arena with a win and a Miami (Ohio) loss.
Although the title-clinching win will have to wait as Miami (Ohio) won their game, Michigan did put themselves in good position going into the final weekend of the regular season by beating the Spartans 5-2. From the very start Michigan was in control of the game, and despite a shaky 2nd period, came out on top with a big win.
With only a home-and-home against Ferris State left on the schedule, Michigan needs just one win or two ties to clinch the CCHA title. Of course, there are many other scenarios that could play out resulting in Michigan winning the CCHA, but the easiest path to the title is by winning on Friday. It will be Senior Night at Yost against Ferris, and tickets are still available if you want to watch Michigan play for the CCHA title.
- Jalen Rose was honored at Saturday’s basketball game and spoke to the crowd at halftime. You can watch his speech here, but the picture quality sucks. The audio is decent, though, which is all that really matters.
In his speech, Rose mentioned the Fab Five and gave the impression that he hoped they would all be honored by Michigan someday. I think 3 of the other members will be honored eventually, but I’m not sure if Chris Webber ever will be welcomed back to Ann Arbor. He can’t be back until 2013 anyways due to a 10-year ban from associating with U-M, but even after that I really doubt a lot of people will be ready to embrace him and the Fab Five as a whole.
UPDATE: Here is a better video of Rose’s speech at halftime.
- 12 walk-ons from tryouts a couple weeks ago were asked to join the football team to train with Mike Barwis. If they can survive, they will get to practice in the spring.
- The NFL Combine is underway in Indianapolis, and four Michigan players on offense have had their chance to show scouts what they’re made of. Jake Long has been one of the most impressive players at the combine so far as his stock seems to be rising. In between pranking Vernon Gholston and being mentioned as the possible #1 overall pick, Long was working hard in various drills to show that all of his hype is well deserved.
Long may have had a great few days in Indy, but the same can’t be said for Mario Manningham and Mike Hart. Both had slow times in the 40-yard dash and now seem to be dropping on draft boards. Hart’s slow 40 time (4.67) is no surprise, which is why his falling stock surprises me a bit. People should have expected this given that he always has lacked speed, but regardless, Hart is beginning to fall down some draft boards. He isn’t falling quite as fast as Manningham, who really had a rough few hours yesterday in Indy.
Manningham ran a 4.59 40-yard dash, which was a surprisingly slow. Mario has always seemed to be faster, and hopefully he will show that on his pro day when the scouts come to Ann Arbor. In the meantime, he better hope the combine doesn’t make too much of an impact on the teams that were looking at picking him as his stock is drastically falling right now.
The fourth player at the combine from Michigan right now is Chad Henne. There hasn’t been much talk about him, but as of right now it’s looking like he’ll be a second-round pick. That could always change, but for right now he is in good shape.
(Adrian Arrington was also in Indy but didn’t participate in any of the drills due to an injury)
- Speaking of Arrington, he talked with the Detroit Free Press and had some very interesting things to say. Specifically, he indirectly said something that really shed some light on Ryan Mallett’s departure from Michigan.
Q: Do you think Mallett would have stayed at Michigan if Carr had returned?
A: “Talking to (Mallett), he’s a pretty good friend of mine, he was leaning on staying. He was probably going to stay.”
Wait just a second. Mallett was leaning toward staying if Carr had returned? To me, that meant that Mallett was thinking of leaving long before a coaching change was made, which shows you why Rich Rodriguez really didn’t have much of a chance to get him to stay considering he already had one foot out the door when Coach Rod got here. What I find funny is that Arkansas is trying to get the NCAA to waive the one year that Mallett has to sit out because he felt “forced out” by the coaching change. That certainly doesn’t sound like the case at all, especially with what Arrington said.
- Andy Staples of SI.com wrote a great article on Sam McGuffie.
- The Toledo Free Press talked with the Elliott Mealer and his family.
- Brent Petway, fresh off of an NBDL dunk title, is challenging Dwight Howard to a dunk contest.
- For those that even care anymore (I’m not one of them, by the way), Terrelle Pryor visited Ohio State “unofficially” yesterday. If he does end up picking OSU, it sounds like he’ll fit in perfectly with the Buckeyes.
- Kelvin Sampson resigned as Indiana’s coach on Friday, but did get paid $750,000 to do so as long as he doesn’t sue the school.
- The Michigan baseball team is off to a 3-0 start after sweeping Villanova. Next up for U-M is a game against the New York Mets, a team owned by Michigan graduate Fred Wilpon.
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