Backlash from Newsome

So, Kevin Newsome appears to be out. Aside from losing a highly-rated player from the class of 2009, how will this affect the Michigan Wolverines?
At quarterback, Michigan is now in search of a replacement for one of its best players in the class. Thankfully, the coaches seemed to have some idea that this decommitment was possible, and even likely, as they continued pursuing a pair of highly-touted passers as contingency plans. While neither Tate Forcier nor Eugene Smith has the high upside that Newsome does, Forcier might actually be ready to play sooner, having had a private quarterback coach for a number of years. Despite Michigan’s class being seemingly full, Forcier consistently named the Wolverines among his top choices. Now that there is an opening, will Forcier jump at the opportunity, or be insulted that he was a backup plan? We might see shortly after Forcier’s recently-confirmed August 30th official visit to Michigan (for the Utah game).

Speaking of Forcier being a backup plan, this may be a slight misrepresentation of the facts. Of course, Kevin Newsome was Michigan’s #1 quarterback target. However, after Newsome’s commitment, Forcier and Shavodrick Beaver seemed to each know that the first to commit to Michigan would be the second signal-caller in the class. When Beaver was ready first, two players who were tied for #2 suddenly changed from an even race to a bird-in-hand/bird-in-bush comparison, where Beaver was given the benefit of the doubt over Forcier. So, while neither was the number one quarterback, both were in Michigan’s top 3 (of course, after Russel Shepard became unavailable) from the get-go.

What else does this mean for Michigan? While Newsome had good relationships with some of Michigan’s other commits, namely Bryce McNeal, these relationships clearly weren’t strong enough to convince Newsome to stick with Michigan, so I would be surprised if they were strong enough to convince anyone else to jump ship. McNeal also has a strong relationship with seemingly rock-solid Shavodrick Beaver, . If anything, his relationship with Newsome might help pull Kevin back into the fold (though I think this is unlikely either way).

Overall, the Michigan recruiting class will depend heavily on whether the team has success on the field in 2008. If it is an ugly year on the field, a few guys may look elsewhere, and the class could go downhill. however, losing one recruit in August (while there is still time to recover) does not a disaster make.

Editor’s note: I’m not sure if the childhood picture is of Tate or Chris, but the point remains that the Forciers love Michigan.

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4 Comments so far

  1. J. Lichty says...

    I think that success on the field in the commit year is important to a few frontrunner type recruits, but I get the sense from having read quotes from a lot of recruits over the years that most want the upside to do well, a good system, and a favorable depth chart. Illinois and Minnesota were terrible on the field when they had their best recruiting classes ever. It is appealing to many recruits to be part of a “return to glory,” so I think so long as Michigan shows improvement and a role for the players they are targetting, the recruits will know that this year is this year and next year is when they will really matter.

  2. Tim says...

    Lichty, I do do agree that on-field performance rarely has a large effect on that particular year’s recruiting class. However, I think Michigan is a specific situation in which it will have a very large effect.

    I am of the opinion that there are a lot of guys who like Michigan, but are listening to the negative recruiting of other coaches in influences saying “Michigan will never succeed with that offense/coach/etc. If Michigan can prove those detractors wrong, it will open up Michigan as an option to a lot of guys who otherwise would have believed the hype – negative though it may be.

  3. RJHOVE says...

    Newsome is still high on Michigan he just opened it back up. I think he got cold feet and wants to take his time with the process. Forcier may pick Michigan first. In that scenario does Michigan still leave a scholarship for Mr. Newsome as a third option? At least Kevin did not go on visits with other schools while “commited” then commit to another school.

  4. Anonymous says...

    McNeal and Newsome werent neearly as good as friends as Shav and McNeal are. Newsome hasnt really bonded with any commits oustide of the few camps.

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