- Florida defensive tackle Richard Ash has decommitted from West Virginia and committed to Michigan. Ash is from Pahokee, as are current players Martavious Odoms, Vincent Smith, and Brandin Hawthorne. Ash is a 4-star on Rivals and a 3-star on Scout and ESPN. He has a pretty impressive offer list that includes Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Rutgers, South Carolina, South Florida, Tennessee, UCLA, and USC, among others. Ash is Michigan’s 23rd commit of the 2010 recruiting class, and another one could be on the way on Saturday when Maryland linebacker/safety Josh Furman announces his decision (he will choose either Michigan or Virginia Tech).
- Brandon Graham and Zoltan Mesko were named to the AP All-America second team.
- Roy Roundtree said yesterday that Brandon Smith missed a recent team meeting and is probably going to transfer.
- The Big Ten released a statement earlier this week saying that during the course of the next 12-18 months it will look into expansion. I really don’t think anything will come of it, but the debate about expansion has certainly been reignited this week. My personal opinion on the matter is that the Big Ten shouldn’t expand just for the sake of expanding. Some possible 12th teams that have been tossed around include Missouri, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Rutgers, among many others. Out of the list of schools that would realistically consider jumping to the Big Ten, none really excite me. I wouldn’t have a problem with adding a school like Missouri or Pittsburgh (I don’t think Syracuse would leave the Big East), but Rutgers, for example, just isn’t all that appealing. Obviously the best case scenario would be to finally add Notre Dame, but the chances of that happening are beyond slim.
I guess what it will boil down to are these things: 1) Is there a team out there willing to join the Big Ten that also fits the conference’s criteria? 2) Is expanding going to be a smart business decision? 3) Can the Big Ten fairly divide up the teams if a 12th team does join the conference? The Big Ten will spend the next 12-18 months trying to answer those questions, and once this “evaluation” is complete, there will either be an invitation sent to a possible 12th school or nothing at all will happen. My guess is the result of this evaluation will be the latter, but anything could happen I suppose.
- Both mgoblog and Crimson Quarry took a look at what schools would be realistic candidates to join the Big Ten.
- Missouri’s chancellor actually released a statement basically saying that if the Big Ten were to contact MU, it would be willing to listen. I don’t know if that is mainly just a bargaining move with the Big 12 regarding issues with revenue sharing and bowl selection, but Missouri is the only school to actually go ahead and release a statement about the Big Ten’s statement.
- Bill Martin said that Michigan is “open-minded” about the issue of expansion.
- Former Michigan defensive line coach Steve Stripling has been named Central Michigan’s interim coach, replacing Butch Jones, who left for Cincinnati.
- Illinois’ Arrelious Benn is going to leave school a year early to enter the NFL Draft.
- ESPN has apparently made the Michigan-Kansas matchup on Saturday its “green game.” What that means is that rather than simply watch a basketball game, we will get this stupid promotion shoved down our throat by ESPN.
- Zack Novak’s trip to Utah last week really sucked.
- UM Hoops did another Q&A with David Merritt to get his thoughts on what the team has done since the Old Spice Classic.
- Inside Michigan Football’s first episode debuts tonight at 8 p.m. on FSN Detroit.
- With a little more than a week until the season opener, the biggest question mark for Michigan still is the quarterback situation. Nothing has changed (Tate Forcier, Denard Robinson, and Nick Sheridan are all listed at the top of the depth chart), but Rich Rodriguez has still had to answer a ton of questions about his QBs, and I’m sure that will continue into the season until someone solidifies himself as the starter. Considering no one has done that yet, the plan is for all three QBs to be used against Western Michigan. Whether or not that actually happens is left to be seen. It very well could, but hypothetically speaking, if Tate Forcier plays first and is doing an exceptional job, would he be benched in favor of Sheridan or Robinson? I doubt it. There are a ton of variables that will affect Rodriguez’s plans for the opener, so we really won’t know who will play and for how long until the game is actually played.
- Jason Olesnavage and Brendan Gibbons are battling it out for the starting kicking job, and Olsenavage may have a small lead right now in the competition. Despite struggling in the spring game, he is doing quite well in practice. Of course, kicking in an actual game in front of over 100,000 people is nothing like kicking in practice, but Michigan’s situation at that position seems much better than originally anticipated.
- To make sure he is healthy when the regular season starts, Brandon Minor “will occasionally be limited” in practice over the next week.
- Kelvin Grady has already moved ahead of Roy Roundtree and Terrence Robinson at slot receiver.
- Michael Rothstein thinks Robinson is slightly separating himself from the other punt returners.
- The preseason BlogPoll has been released.
- Michigan’s first online yearbooks/record books are out.
- For money reasons only, Indiana has moved its home game against Penn State in 2010 to FedEx Field, the home of the Washington Redskins. Indiana will get $3 million for moving the game, which basically becomes a Penn State home game. PSU has a large alumni base in the Washington, D.C. area and is less than four hours away from the stadium. IU, on the other hand, is nearly eleven hours away, which makes this beyond ridiculous. I understand they want a quick and easy payday, and yes, chances are that Penn State will win regardless of where the game is held. Even so, you should not be able to sell your home conference games, especially when they give the supposed away team a huge advantage.
The 2009 spring game was a huge success. Rich Rodriguez set a goal of having 40,000 people attend the event, and that goal was surpassed by at least 10,000. Unlike spring games in the Lloyd Carr era, which eventually became nothing more than drills and a very short scrimmage, this event was about having fun. Fans were given a chance to get a look at the locker room; the alumni game was very entertaining; and we got to watch a scrimmage that replicated various game situations and lasted for over an hour and a half. All in all, it was a great event and one that will hopefully grow in the coming years.
Here is a recap of the various events that made up the day:
Locker Room Tour
Looking back, I was an idiot for thinking I would be able to tour the locker room despite arriving at 9:15 a.m. When I got to the stadium, I immediately passed on waiting in line, as upon first glance, it was stretched around the side of Crisler Arena. I continued walking and saw that it went all of the way out to Stadium Boulevard. Then, once I made my way into the stadium and walked around the concourse, I noticed that the line stretched all the way to the entrance at the corner of Stadium and Main. As pointed out in The Wolverine Blog’s photo essay of the line, at one time it went all the way to the 50-yard line on the Main Street side. People really wanted to see the locker room, so much so that one person got in line at 3:30 a.m. That is dedication.
(As you’ll notice in the above links, the word “honor” is spelled in a non-American way in the phrase “Strength and Honour.” Anyone know why?)
There were some no shows, and the roster posted on MGoBlue wasn’t all that accurate. Even so, this was a very entertaining event. Frank Beckmann and Jim Brandstatter provided commentary that included many funny digs at the players and coaches (like Brandstatter’s comment about how Jerry Hanlon drew up plays on manila folders). Rick Leach’s interview was particularly hilarious, as his answer to a question about why he was pulled after an interception on the first pass of the game was, “I’m 52 years-old.” Leach also mentioned that he helped put the game together, so he deserves a pat on the back. Ever since the interview on WTKA where he vehemently defended Rich Rodriguez, Leach has been around the program quite a bit, and that is definitely a good thing.
Another funny moment was guest referee James Hall’s response to Brandstatter asking for an official ruling on a play. Hall answered that he didn’t even see the play, and Brandstatter shot back with a great one-liner about how he was just like all referees.
Perhaps the funniest moment was the fact that it was announced that Larry Foote wasn’t allowed to play in the game due to his contract with the Steelers. The Steelers obviously don’t want him getting hurt in a flag football game, so there is a clause that was supposed to prevent him from participating. Well, Foote may or may not have played, and he may or may not have had a one-hand interception. I will leave it at that so Foote doesn’t get in too much trouble.
Holding the Banner
I was lucky enough to be one of the students that got to go down on the field and hold the banner as the team ran out of the tunnel. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for sure, and it was as awesome as I thought it would be. While waiting for noon (when the team would retake the field for the game) to arrive, I got to sit on the bleachers down by the 15-yard line on the northeast part of the field. Jay Hopson and Greg Robinson were running drills with the linebackers, which was cool to see up close.
Holding up the banner was much more complicated than I expected. The wind made it tougher, as it was blowing the banner in one direction as we tried to pull it the opposite way. We were warned to hold on tight when the team started hitting it, but that didn’t seem to be a big problem. Seeing the players and coaches jump up and touch the banner was amazing, though. I tried to stay on the field after the national anthem to hang out behind the bench, but an event staff person quickly realized we weren’t supposed to be down there.
- Let’s start with the one player everyone was watching on Saturday: Tate Forcier. Forcier looked about as good as one could have hoped. His passes were accurate, had zip on them, and actually hit his receivers. Only one deep ball (that I remember) was overthrown, and he scored touchdowns on a couple long passes. He also scored a couple TDs by running the ball. Once he lost the ball in the end zone for a safety, but that was about the only bad play that I remember.
Forcier showed off his scrambling skills quite a bit. The defense could only down him by two-hand touch rules (Michigan can’t afford to lose him to an injury), but he had good field vision when he did take off. When he is fair game to defenses next season I hope he cuts down on the amount of times he scrambles, but at least his scrambles were effective. I think as times goes by he will probably be more patient in the pocket, but that was probably the only real negative about his game that I noticed, and it is probably a stretch to call that a negative. I’m just being extra paranoid about his health, as it is already obvious that Michigan can’t afford to lose him.
- The backup QB on Saturday was David Cone. Nick Sheridan was in uniform, but he didn’t do anything more than play catch with Zoltan Mesko on the sidelines since his foot was still in a walking boot. Cone struggled throughout the day but put together a few decent drives as time went by. His passing ability seemed limited, though, as did his running ability most of the time. I say most of the time because he did have a great 35-yard run after he put a move on Stevie Brown. Brown totally bit on it, allowing Cone to run down the field for a big gain.
- The third-string QB was a walk-on, Jack Kennedy. He isn’t even listed on the spring roster, so I’m assuming he is new to the team. He actually looked better than Cone at times, but I can’t stress enough how important it is that Forcier and Sheridan stay healthy. If there is ever a situation where both are injured, I think putting Carlos Brown in and letting him run on every down is probably the best idea.
- Speaking of Carlos Brown, he looked very good. If he can stay healthy, having he and Brandon Minor will be a nice one-two punch. Minor didn’t do anything too memorable, but Brown broke off a huge run for a touchdown once.
- True freshman Vincent Smith played quite a bit and looked pretty good. Despite his small size, he ran the ball downhill and showed off his ability to make moves as well. I believe he had two touchdowns — one that was right at the goal line and another where he ran around the defense from 20 or so yards out. Before watching him in person, I was a bit concerned his size would lead to big hits like Sam McGuffie experienced, but I’m not as worried anymore. McGuffie’s running style was the biggest reason he had three concussions, and Smith, as I said, runs downhill.
- Kevin Grady had a nice touchdown run where he plowed through a pile and came out unscathed to score. It reminded me of his TD run against Indiana a few years ago. Hopefully we will see him do that in goal line and short-yardage situations next season.
- The two most impressive wide receivers were Roy Roundtree and Greg Mathews. Roundtree seems like someone that will challenge for a starting job, as he has great hands and is a viable deep threat. Forcier hit Roundtree on one of his long TD passes, and Roundtree caught one other TD pass I believe.
Mathews will be the No. 1 WR for sure. His best play was going up on a fade route and taking the ball out of the air. The throw wasn’t great, but Mathews made sure the defender couldn’t pick it off and bailed out Forcier. As a way of saying thanks, Forcier gave Mathews a piggy-back ride to the bench.
- Darryl Stonum also had a great TD catch where he stole it away from Boubacar Cissoko. That play made up for a drop Stonum had early on.
- The starting offensive line was as follows: Mark Ortmann (LT), Stephen Schilling (LG), David Molk (C), David Moosman (RG), Mark Huyge (RT).
- As much as I would like to say that the offense looked great because the offense is great, that isn’t a fair assessment. Part of the reason the offense played so well was because the defense struggled quite a bit. I don’t want to read too much into their performance, though. The scrimmage was set up to favor the offense, both based on the rules and the matchups.
- Injuries kept Jonas Mouton (out for spring), Mike Martin (slightly injured ankle; kept out for precautionary reasons), Donovan Warren (out for six weeks following arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle) out of the scrimmage, and Ryan Van Bergen left on a cart mid-way through (out for four weeks with a strained MCL).
- Aside from injuries, Brandon Graham barely played in order to limit the risk of an injury. Even then that didn’t matter too much since the first-team offense and first-team defense didn’t match up at all. The second-team defense faced the Forcier-led unit, making it tough to get a good read on both sides of the ball. I think it is safe to say that the defense does have a long way to go, but their performance on Saturday wasn’t a proper indicator of where they are at right now. I’m a tad concerned but am not ready to panic just yet.
- Due to the matchups and the lack of many starters, no one really stood out on the defensive side of the ball. The secondary did stand out as being particularly bad on many occasions, but Boubacar Cissoko did have at least one good pass break-up that I remember, though Stonum owned him pretty bad on that one TD catch I mentioned. Stevie Brown, as noted, got burned by David Cone. He was playing a hybrid linebacker/safety role and was in a bunch of different formations throughout the scrimmage. It was tough to get a read on him as well, but he did win an award for the most development during the spring, so apparently he has improved from last season.
- Martavious Odoms fumbled a punt during the drills before the game. It was really, really sunny, but that isn’t an excuse. Greg Mathews fielded his punt without any problems, so it seems like Odoms still has practice to do when it comes to punts. Although he took a punt to the house against Purdue last season, he had big problems catching the ball on punts. I don’t want to lose his return ability, but I feel much better when Mathews is back there as the returner.
- Brendan Gibbons can’t get here soon enough. Our current (as in during the spring, not in general) kicking situation is not good. Jason Olesnavage didn’t have any issues with extra points, but his range appeared to be pretty limited. Once he went beyond the 30-yard line, his kicks did not look good at all. His backup is Bryan Wright, who is actually on scholarship. To say he struggled is an understatement. Wright’s kicks were bad, and those were the ones he actually got off. There were issues with the hold and the snap when he tried to attempt some field goals, which probably contributed to his poor kicking. He also had a punt blocked and kicked one off of one of his teammates on a rugby-style kick. It’s a good thing Zoltan Mesko is still here; that’s for sure.
- Entire game (MGoBlue)
- Highlights (BTN)
- Michigan takes the field (YouTube)
- Tate Forcier TD pass (YouTube)
- Tate Forcier TD run (YouTube)
- Carlos Brown TD run (YouTube)
- Kevin Grady TD run (YouTube)
- Tate Forcier interview (BTN)
- Brandon Minor interview (BTN)
- Greg Mathews interview (BTN)
- Greg Robinson interview (BTN)
- View of the crowd (YouTube)
- Post-game press conference (MLive)
- Michigan Sports Center (Flickr Page)
- Michigan Daily
- Detroit News
- Detroit Free Press
- Ann Arbor News
Plenty of recruits were in attendance, including Ricardo Miller, Marvin Robinson, Devin Gardner, and Jeremy Jackson. Some of the recruits made their way up the stadium through the section 23 aisle and were swarmed for pictures and autographs. Denard Robinson, who will be here in a couple months, was also at the game and was the first to get swarmed. He stood out enough thanks to his dreadlocks and red Deerfield Beach varsity jacket, but when a few people started cheering him, it was mayhem. He probably signed autographs and took pictures for at least 20-30 minutes, just as Ricardo Miller and some of the others did (they were all very nice). During the warm ups, Denard was down on the field hanging out with Tate Forcier, Nick Sheridan, and quarterbacks coach Rod Smith, probably getting coached up by all of them.
Varsity Blue has a rundown of the recruits that planned on being at Michigan Stadium on Saturday.
Aside from the alumni in attendance for the flag football game, Super Bowl participants LaMarr Woodley, Steve Breaston, and Harold Goodwin (assistant coach) were honored. Larry Foote was as well, but he got plenty of attention during the alumni game. Like the aforementioned players, Mike Hart and Desmond Howard were given a nice reception when it was announced they were in attendance.
The attendance for the spring game was estimated at 50,000 people. That is a new record for a Michigan spring game, and the hope is that even more people will go to the event next year. If the team has a good season and the weather is as nice as it was on Saturday, I would say they could draw around 70-80,000. I think breaking Alabama’s record is a couple of years down the road and is dependent on a lot of things, but if the team continues to improve it is definitely possible.
The band and cheerleaders were in attendance to help make this more like a real game experience. What made it feel like a Saturday in the fall for me was hearing “down in front” and “sit down.” I don’t want to beat a dead horse and go on a rant about this again, but I certainly did not expect to hear those two phrases at the spring game. Listen, people. If you have a problem with someone standing, then please, stay home. No one wants to hear you bitch and moan when you voluntarily came to the game. It’s clear you don’t want to improve the atmosphere if you are worried about people standing, so just stay home next time. And for the record, the 22 rows in front of me were standing as well, so it’s not like it was just me.
Aside from the complaints about people standing, the atmosphere was great. The crowd was into the game and it did feel like a football Saturday as much as it possibly could for a scrimmage. Overall, this was a great event and I look forward to it growing in the future. Rich Rodriguez definitely is doing a good job of marketing the program, and that job will only become easier if the team starts winning. Until then, being nice and open to the fans is a good way to keep people happy and excited.
- Lost in all of the NCAA tournament talk is that spring practice for the football team begins on Saturday.
- Rich Rodriguez declined to talk about Steven Threet during his spring practice press conference yesterday. He gave the same answer that he used when asked about Ryan Mallett, saying “I only talk about guys that play at Michigan.”
- The numbers that will be worn by the early enrollees have been confirmed by MGoBlue, as have some number changes that took place.
Five players switched numbers heading into the spring: Roy Roundtree (#16 to #12), David Cone (#12 to #16), Jared Van Slyke (#29 to #31), George Morales (#73 to #66) and Jon Conover (#89 to #83).
Here are the early enrollees’ numbers:
The seven true freshman January enrollees received their jersey numbers: Vincent Smith (#2), Tate Forcier (#5), Vladimir Emilien (#5), Brandin Hawthorne (#7), Mike Jones (#27), William Campbell (#73) and Anthony LaLota (#90).
- Aside from number changes, position changes were also confirmed:
Three Wolverines switched from the offensive side of the ball to defense. Vince Helmuth moved to defensive tackle from fullback, Steve Watson switched from tight end to defensive end, and walk-on Jared Van Slyke moved from wide receiver to safety.
The Helmuth move was already known, but Watson switching to DE is new, though it isn’t surprising.
- Adam Patterson and Kenny Demens are trying to get medical redshirts for last season. Junior Hemingway already did get a medical redshirt for 2008, as he missed the last eight games of the season with mono.
- Ricky Barnum may need surgery after spring practice to fix a “painful wrist.”
- Thanks to Butler’s loss to Cleveland State last night in the Horizon League championship game, there will be one less bubble team making the NCAA tournament. Had Butler won, they would have been the only team from the Horizon League in the NCAA tournament. Since they lost, though, Cleveland State gets the automatic bid, making Butler an at-large team that takes the place of a bubble team.
- The Hoover Street Rag has the odds for which team will win the CCHA tournament.
- Carl Hagelin was named to the CCHA Scholar-Athlete Team.
Today is going to be very eventful for Michigan, but I don’t think it can top last year’s signing day, as there were so many different things going on. Here is a rundown of the different posts I made on signing day a year ago:
12:27 AM: This was the first Terrelle Pryor update of the day and revealed that he wasn’t going to announce his decision on signing day.
9:05 AM: Roy Roundtree decommitted from Purdue and signed with Michigan.
9:28 AM: Roundtree’s teammate, Michael Shaw, decommitted from Penn State and signed with Michigan.
9:44 AM: Ricky Barnum decommitted from Florida and signed with Michigan.
9:50 AM: This was the first update recapping which commits had sent in their LOI.
11:33 AM: This was an update on Nick Perry’s announcement time.
11:35 AM: Just two minutes later, news broke that Perry chose USC.
11:58 AM: News broke that Terrelle Pryor was going to talk to the media despite not having a decision made.
12:02 PM: This was a brief recap of Pryor’s press conference about how he hadn’t made up his mind. Looking back, I probably should have replaced Terrelle Pryor’s name with “Attention Whore” in the title of the post.
1:05 PM: The first sign of issues with Sam McGuffie came out, as it was reported that he was having second thoughts about Michigan.
1:22 PM: Michael Shaw signed his letter of intent after waiting to do so for a few hours after news came out that he was going to Michigan.
1:57 PM: Ontario McCalebb decided to stick with his commitment to Auburn rather than change his mind and go to Michigan.
4:06 PM: MGoBlue posted its recruiting update right before Rich Rodriguez’s signing day press conference.
5:52 PM: A dual-threat quarterback and teammate of Roundtree, Shaw, and Brandon Moore decided to go to Jackson State rather than wait around to find out if he was going to receive an offer from Michigan.
9:02 PM: The final update of the day was the best news of all at the time: Sam McGuffie finally sent his LOI to Michigan. I guess the second thoughts McGuffie had should have given us the hint that a transfer was a possibility down the road. At the time, though, we were all just excited that he signed with Michigan.
Like I said, I highly doubt signing day 2009 will come anywhere close to reaching the excitement and drama produced from signing day a year ago. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. Obviously I hope Michigan ends up with three or four new commitments today, but I could definitely go for less drama. Then again, without someone like Terrelle Pryor jerking everyone’s chain, there already is significantly less drama.
- The preseason BlogPoll is out, and Michigan unsurprisingly isn’t ranked. Georgia came in at #1 and was followed by Ohio State, USC, Oklahoma, and Florida. I actually won the “Mr. Numb Existence Award,” which goes to the voter whose poll is the least difference from the cumulative poll.
- Some observations from the preseason BlogPoll: The Enlightened Spartan was the homerest of the homers out there as he ranked Michigan State 10th, and Saurian Sagacity used a formula that resulted in Michigan being ranked 8th. If only that ranking ended up being accurate at the end of this year.
- According to Rich Rodriguez, offensive lineman Cory Zirbel will be out against Utah and probably for quite some time after that. Rodriguez said that it isn’t hopeful that Zirbel will be able to return at all this season as his knee injury is “pretty significant.” Also injured are freshman slot receiver Terrence Robinson, who “tweaked his knee” and “will be out several weeks,” and offensive lineman Mark Huyge, who is out with a high ankle sprain.
- Cornerback Donovan Warren was held out of practice yesterday for precautionary reasons. It doesn’t appear to be anything serious, but it’s still scary when one of your top corners misses practice as it’s just another reason to worry.
- How about some good news? Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown did practice yesterday, which is actually great news. Both missed practice recently, forcing freshmen Michael Shaw and Sam McGuffie to step into the starter’s role. Although the two freshmen are talented, getting Minor and Brown back is very important as they have more experience. We’ll still get a good dose of Shaw and McGuffie against Utah, but you never want to have to go to freshmen this early in the season.
- Despite just moving to the offensive line in the last few days, John Ferrara will contend for a starting spot at guard. I don’t know if that’s nice to hear because Ferrara is a fast learner or if that says something about depth on the offensive line. I hope it’s the former.
- “Bowling for Brock” raised around $15,000 for the Mealer family.
- On Tuesday Rich Rodriguez surprised the team by giving them an afternoon off from practice. Coaches and players went to Fuller Park Pool to have fun in the water and to get a break from football.
- Roy Roundtree’s uncle gave him some advice the night before signing day that helped him pick Michigan.
- Apparently Utah’s offense is struggling a bit in practice. Sounds good to me. Hopefully they struggle on August 30 as well.
- As Jim Carty writes, Morgan Trent has improved greatly in the last year and a half or so. He is now a cornerback all fans can be confident in, which is a big change from constantly getting torched by opposing quarterbacks like he did earlier in his career.
- The Big Ten Network has a preview of a show called “Big Ten Legends: Lloyd Carr.” The show will premiere at 6 p.m. ET on August 26.
- EDSBS improved the creepy BTN recruiting pitches commercial by adding some comical text to it.
- The Wiz of Odds has a picture of what Michigan’s schedule poster looks like for the 2008 season.
- Michael Phelps is coming to a cereal box near you and will be honored (along with his and former U-M coach Bob Bowman) at the Wisconsin game on September 27.
- Horse-collar tackles are now banned from college football.
- Although he hasn’t ruled Michigan out yet, the Wolverines are not one of recruit Dion Sims’ top college choices anymore. Though he is very talented, that’s not a huge deal as Sims is only a tight end and Michigan State is not a top choice anymore, either.
- ESPN released their college football announcers lineup on Wednesday. Sadly, Paul Maguire still is part of the Brad Nessler-Bob Griese crew, meaning Big Ten afternoon football games on ABC will continue to be tough to listen to.
- Joe Tiller did some backtracking at the Big Ten media days last week as he tried to make it sound like he never directly criticized Rich Rodriguez back on signing day. Tiller is correct in saying that he didn’t actually reference Rodriguez or Michigan, but does he really think we are that dumb?
The part of the article that contained his infamous “a guy in a wizard hat selling snake oil” phrase was about Roy Roundtree’s decision to switch his commitment from Purdue to Michigan. Tiller can act like he was just talking about recruiting in general, but I’d love to hear his explanation for going after Roundtree and his school.
I will give Tiller credit for admitting that a gentleman’s agreement doesn’t really exist and that last minute switches in recruiting do happen and have helped him in the past. It seems like Tiller’s comments were made out of frustration, so maybe I’m being too hard on the guy. After all, he gave us the image of Rich Rodriguez wearing a wizard hat while selling snake oil, and for that, I thank him.
- Michigan athletic director Bill Martin is an avid sailor, as we all found out during the coaching search. I just never realized how avid he is as Martin won a national championship in some sailing event recently. (HT: MGoBlog)
- Via Varsity Blue, MGoBlue has posted its first weekly release for the Michigan football team. The release includes lots of stats and facts as well as a depth chart from the end of spring practice. That depth chart will likely change quite a bit before the season starts, but it is something to go off of, at least until fall practice begins on August 4.
- ESPN named Valdosta, Georgia, TitleTown USA. Seriously.
I knew Ann Arbor wasn’t going to win, but I am very surprised that Valdosta was given the title. I guess it’s better than Boston winning something again, but it still is surprising.
- Michigan’s hockey alumni reunion will take place this Friday.
- The M-Den’s website has finally been redone. It is much easier to navigate now and is much more user friendly.
Last month I posted a partial list of what numbers Michigan’s freshmen would be wearing, and now the full list is out. Although not all numbers have been confirmed just yet, a full list has been making its way around the Internet recently and appears to be accurate. Take a look:
|56||Ricky Barnum (OG)|
|33||Boubacar Cissoko (CB)|
|15||Mike Cox (RB)|
|25||Kenny Demens (LB)|
|5||Justin Feagin (QB)|
|42||J.B. Fitzgerald (LB)|
|12||J.T. Floyd (DB)|
|36||Taylor Hill (LB)|
|63||Rocko Khoury (OT)|
|86||Kevin Koger (TE)|
|68||Mike Martin (DT)|
|2||Sam McGuffie (RB)|
|57||Elliott Mealer (OT)|
|88||Brandon Moore (TE)|
|9||Martavious Odoms (WR)|
|65||Patrick Omameh (OT)|
|78||Dann O’Neill (OT)|
|7||Terrence Robinson (WR)|
|16||Roy Roundtree (WR)|
|20||Michael Shaw (ATH)|
|28||Brandon Smith (S)|
|22||Darryl Stonum (WR)|
|64||Kurt Wermers (OG)|
|4||Marcus Witherspoon (LB)|
I’m guessing Marell Evans
Brandon Herron has changed his number since Boubacar Cissoko is #33. There was some talk that Boo Boo would get #2 along with Sam McGuffie, but obviously that’s not the case.
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