- Jeremy Gallon, Cameron Gordon, J.T. Turner, and Thomas Gordon are some of the players being redshirted that have stood out to Rich Rodriguez. The same goes for offensive linemen Taylor Lewan, Quinton Washington, and Michael Schofield.
- There is an interesting two-part feature on MGoBlue about how much work goes into traveling to away games.
- Rich Rodriguez appreciates Bill Martin’s support.
- Michigan-native and U-M fan (all of his supporters were decked out in maize and blue and block Ms) Joe Cada won the World Series of Poker, taking home a cool $8.5 million for becoming the youngest champion ever. Based on what he said last month when asked what he would do if he became the champion, it looks like Cada could be celebrating the victory at the Ohio State game.
There’s one thing for sure, though. If Cada does win, the 21-year-old is going to throw two big parties: one in Vegas, the other in Michigan.
“I have no idea where the party in Vegas is going to be, but everyone is invited,” Cada said. “It’s going to be huge if I win the main event.”
As for Michigan, he had another small idea: “Party at the Big House.”
One thing is for sure: The high ticket prices for the OSU game certainly won’t be a problem for Cada.
Michigan’s press conference at 11 would normally be to talk about the game coming up on Saturday, but I’d be shocked if that was mentioned at all. The national media are flying in for this, and ESPN is going to carry it live. You know what the subject of the presser is going to be, and I just hope Rich Rodriguez comes out of it okay. The questions will be relentless, but Rodriguez’s answers will give us an idea of where this is going. I’m assuming he will make a statement similar to the written one he released in response to the Free Press’ story, but beyond that it’s left to be seen.
In the mean time, more people are speaking out about these allegations.
Toney Clemons already has spoke to ESPN’s Joe Schad, and now he has talked with the Free Press as well. Aside from saying he’s honest and reiterating that he will tell the truth if the NCAA calls him asking questions, Clemons compared the three coaches he has played for.
“I’ve played for three coaches, I’ve seen three different systems, three different personalities of programs,” said Clemons, from New Kensington, Pa. “Not every coach does that. With Coach Carr coming in as freshmen, we understood the rules early in the summertime. We never had anybody come out and monitor anything that they weren’t allowed to be there for. And compliance at the University of Colorado is real in tune. They make sure that we know the rules.”
Clemons said most players were willing to work beyond the required hours, and that at Colorado “it becomes mandatory through your teammates. It’s not forced upon you by the coaching staff.”
He added: “The difference that came with it, and what really bothered the people, was that if they missed it, the things they had to do for missing it. It became a problem whenever people would miss a workout and had to be punished or reprimanded for missing one.”
Former Michigan long snapper Sean Griffin, who played for both Lloyd Carr and Rich Rodriguez, talked with Angelique Chengelis and shared his thoughts on the situation.
Sean Griffin, long snapper for Michigan last season, said he assumes most of the allegations are from “disgruntled ex-players or guys who transferred.”
He said he frequently worked with the special teams during the offseason and that an allegation in the report that Rodriguez’s staff broke rules by monitoring offseason scrimmages was not true, as far as he could tell.
“When I was helping with the specialists, there was never a coach, a graduate assistant, or a quality control coach there,” he said. “I wasn’t sitting there writing everything down and reporting to a coach. I worked out with a few of the new guys.
“I would just do that because people helped me out when I was younger.”
A couple parents of players have already spoken out about these allegations and basically denied them, and more are continuing to do the same thing.
Grand Rapids Catholic Central standout Obi Ezeh now plays linebacker for the Michigan Wolverines. His parents say they’re stunned by the accusations, and they don’t believe the coaching staff would break NCAA rules. Nkechy Obi told FOX 17 News, “When I read the report, the one thing I said to myself is what’s wrong in kids working hard, why is it being twisted now, that they’re breaking the rule? I don’t think the coaches are breaking any rules and I don’t think my son would go along with it.”
Je’Ron Stokes’ father posted that he believes it’s pathetic for the Free Press to twist his son’s quotes and went on to say that “Coach Rich Rod, and his staff run a very respectable program.” Stokes was one of the freshman who talked to the Free Press about his workouts without knowing what he said was going to end up in this investigation. His quotes simply read like those of an excited freshman, and they ended up in the Free Press as “evidence” against Rich Rodriguez.
Michael Schofield’s father, who talked with TomVH at mgoblog yesterday, had his full message posted on the site. It’s worth a read for sure. (Also at mgoblog is a journalist’s take on the Free Press’ story.)
Tom of mgoblog caught up with the fathers of Tate Forcier and Michael Schofield to get their take on Michigan’s alleged NCAA violations. Basically, Mike Forcier said that nothing Tate is doing at Michigan is different from what his other sons went through at Stanford and UCLA. Mike Schofield called out the Free Press for not mentioning all of the other things football players do, including going to study hall and visiting kids. Also, he ended his comments by saying, “Without names, this article means nothing to me.” I agree with him. I realize the players spoke out on the condition of anonymity, but without knowing their names, it’s impossible to judge the credibility of these allegations.
The roster on MGoBlue is no longer from the spring, allowing us to get a look at new height and weight listings, number changes, and the addition of incoming freshmen. That also means that we now know all of the freshmen’s numbers, which are listed below.
2 – J.T. Turner
2 – Vincent Smith
5 – Tate Forcier
5 – Vladimir Emilien
6 – Je’Ron Stokes (UPDATE: Stokes’ number has been switched from #4 to #6.) (I imagine this will be changed, as it would prevent Stokes and Brandon Minor from being on the field at the same time. Also, Brandon Smith is listed as being #4 as well, and I doubt 3 people would have the same number.)
7 – Brandin Hawthorne
13 – Adrian Witty
14 – Teric Jones
15 – Thomas Gordon
16 – Denard Robinson
26 – Isaiah Bell
27 – Mike Jones
28 – Fitzgerald Toussaint
29 – Jeremy Gallon
34 – Brendan Gibbons
73 – William Campbell
75 – Michael Schofield
76 – Quinton Washington
77 – Taylor Lewan
84 – Cameron Gordon
88 – Craig Roh
90 – Anthony LaLota
Other noteworthy numbers:
4 – Brandon Smith (as alluded to above, he switched from #28)
19 – Kelvin Grady
According to Rivals’ list of commitments, the following players have already sent their LOI to Michigan:
ATH Denard Robinson
QB Tate Forcier
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint
RB Teric Jones
RB Vincent Smith
WR Cameron Gordon
WR Jeremy Gallon
OT Michael Schofield
OT Taylor Lewan
OG Quinton Washington
DE Anthony LaLota
DE Craig Roh
DT William Campbell
LB Brandin Hawthorne
LB Isiah Bell
CB Adrian Witty
CB Justin Turner
S Mike Jones
S Thomas Gordon
S Vladimir Emilien
K Brendan Gibbons
The only current commit missing from that list is defensive end Craig Roh. I don’t know why he hasn’t signed yet considering Taylor Lewan, his teammate and fellow Michigan commit, got his LOI in, but there’s no reason to panic at this point. Last year Kenny Demens didn’t sign immediately because he was at a funeral, so my guess is that there is a reason for the delay and it’s not that he is having second thoughts. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, though.
UPDATE: According to Rivals, Craig Roh has sent his LOI in. That means that all 21 commits have signed with Michigan.
South Carolina offensive guard Quinton Washington has committed to Michigan. Washington chose Michigan over South Carolina, which is a little bit surprising since the Gamecocks are an in-state school. Aside from Michigan and South Carolina, Washington holds offers from Clemson, Maryland, Miami, NC State, and Tennessee among others.
Washington is a 4-star on Rivals and is ranked as the nation’s 8th best OG. On Scout he is a 3-star and is ranked as the 19th best OG. ESPN’s rating of Washington is similar to Rivals, as they rank him as the 6th best OG in the country. Here is a brief excerpt from ESPN’s evaluation of Washington:
Washington has all the tools to be an outstanding college guard. At 300-plus pounds, he moves his feet like a lightweight (or at least a light heavyweight). Comes out of his stance low and with a flat back when he’s covered up. Puts his weight on the defender and follows up with good leg drive.
Washington is Michigan’s 21st commit overall and the 3rd offensive lineman to verbal to the Wolverines. Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield, two offensive tackles, are already committed to Michigan, so Washington is the first guard in the 2009 recruiting class to pick Michigan.
Arizona offensive tackle Taylor Lewan committed to Michigan, bringing the number of members of the 2009 recruiting class back up to 21. Lewan is a teammate of Craig Roh, a defensive end who committed to Michigan in September. Lewan was in Ann Arbor for a visit this weekend and decided to commit while on campus. He is the second offensive tackle to join Michigan’s ’09 class. (Michael Schofield is the other.)
Lewan has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Miami, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, and Wisconsin among others. It is believed that Lewan picked Michigan over Minnesota, as he finally got a chance to visit Ann Arbor. He was originally going to visit last weekend, but his team made it to the state championship game. After the delay, though, he made his visit and committed.
He is a tall and lean kid with a good build, but he is lean for an offensive tackle and will need to work to add more bulk to his frame. He is a kid who plays hard and is very productive. He makes good initial contact and will flash the ability to generate power from his hips and when he does that he can drive a defender off the ball.
ESPN also has a highlight video of Lewan, as does YouTube. The highlight videos appear to be of him as a defensive lineman, but they’re still interesting to watch nonetheless.
- Michael Phelps, a Michigan student and volunteer assistant coach for the last four years, set a world record in the 400-meter individual medley yesterday. He and former Michigan swimmer Peter Vanderkaay both qualified for the United States Olympic team, and in general U-M had a good showing at the Olympic trials.
- Michigan finished third in the final Directors’ Cup standings, which ranks colleges based on how well their teams do during each academic year. Stanford unsurprisingly finished at the top of the rankings for the 14th straight time. UCLA edged out Michigan for second place as their spring sports teams had great seasons.
- Manny Harris and Laval Lucas-Perry will be playing on a team together in Taiwan for much of July.
- Former Michigan kicker Brandon Kornblue, a walk-on that only kicked one field goal in his career, returned to Ann Arbor yesterday to run a kicking camp. The camp will likely result in an offer and hopefully a commit from one of the top kickers in the nation.
- MLive has recent pictures of the Michigan Stadium renovation. MVictors also has pictures of construction going on in Ann Arbor, but they are of Michigan’s new football practice facility.
- Recruiting analyst Tom Lemming believes Michigan commit Michael Schofield can become an All-American “in one or two years.”
- Ex-Michigan football player James McKinney, who transferred to Louisville last season, is off his new team after being declared academically ineligible. Speaking of being academically ineligible, rumor has it that Michigan may have lost a defensive tackle for that exact reason. I’m sure we’ll find out about that in the next month or so.
- Varsity Blue previews Notre Dame.
- Georgia’s mascot, Uga VI, died over the weekend.
- I’m sure you have noticed the new ads on Michigan Sports Center by now, and let me tell you a little about them. They are running through the Yardbarker Blog Network and I am only testing them out for right now. If I find that there is a good reason to keep them around for good, then I will.
I didn’t want to add more advertising to the site, but I’m maximizing my blog for all possible revenue at this point to help combat the price of college and the expenses that go along with college. (Yay increases in tuition!) I apologize if they are a tad too intrusive, but it doesn’t take long to get used to them. And with the addition of the ads, I’ve installed a new countdown clock at the top of the site to let you all know how long it is until the start of the season.
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