Why Threet Can Run This Offense

As I watched my recording of the game yesterday I was a little surprised how much Bob Griese stated, flat out, that Steven Threet cannot run the spread option offense. I generally like Griese, and he and Nessler are the best pair on ESPN (I just pretend Maguire isn’t there), but he is flat out wrong in this instance.

No one will confuse Threet with Pat White; all one needs to see is them each throw a 10 yd out (zing!). Pat White was really successful in the zone-read option offense because of how much the defense respected his ability to run. It would open up holes for Slaton if the defense played disciplined and White could punish them when they didn’t maintain their assignments.

The play that, in my mind, really cemented the fact that Threet could in fact run this offense wasn’t the absolutely ridiculous 58-yd keeper, but rather the Minor touchdown run. Take a look:

Deandre Levy, a senior linebacker, is rocked back on his heels by the threat of a QB keeper. This, combined with the inside linebacker blitz, opened up a huge seam for Minor. If Levy didn’t respect Threet’s running ability he could have a crashed in and stopped the play for little or no gain.

Threet is not Pat White, and he won’t be successful in this offense in the same way that White was, but that doesn’t mean he cannot run it. He can run the zone-read and pick up yards when he keeps it, as we’ve all seen. This forces the defenses to at least respect the threat, which can open up holes for Michigan’s talented backs. He may not break the big runs as often as Pat White did, but if he can consistently get 3-5 ydson his keepers, Threet can keep the defense honest. Beyond that he’s getting better touch on his passes. Once he gets those hitch-and-go routes down, we could see yet another dimension added to Michigan’s big play potential.

I’m not convinced that either of the freshman quarterbacks will be able to come in and unseat Threet. If they do (and judging by Rodriguez’s personnel choices this year, they’ll get a shot), we can feel confident that they beat out someone who can, at least competently and at best efficiently, run the zone-read based spread option.

Posted under Analysis

Recruiting Update 10-1-08

Hate to note you to death on recruiting, BAM here’s some more. Check out today’s nearly-full prospectus immediately below this post.

The board lives here.

Moved to Committed:
MI S Thomas Gordon. lolspartylol.
FL WR Ricardo Miller. He’s on the invisible 2010 board.
New Information:
LA WR Rueben Randle. Freep recruiting fluff. He plans an official visit to Ann Arbor (likely with HS teammate/Michigan commit DeQuinta Jones).
CA OL Michael Philipp. He’s still feeling the Pac-10 and Cal (info in header). Michigan is neither of those things (Cal is both).
MD DE Jason Ankrah. Will visit Michigan this weekend with teammate Travis Hawkins.
MD LB Jelani Jenkins. Some recruiting fluff from the Freep. Sam Webb will see that and raise it in the News. Michigan grades out well in The Matrix (I’m not joking, click the link). By the way, Good Counsel will be on ESPN2 this Thursday.
MD CB Travis Hawkins. Visiting for Illinois (link same as above).
AL CB Dre Kirkpatrick. It appears he’s only taking visits to SEC country. Word on the street is that Georgia conceded him to Alabama Saturday night, and pretty much gave up recruiting him (though the Bama coaches were recruiting him – at their away game).
ESPN ruminates about home-schooled athletes, including Tate Foricer. The visitors at Saturday’s game liked the team’s conditioning and effort.
Requisite Gordon-Will Campbell good feelings exist. Miller’s commitment is a good way to keep recruiting mojo working when the 2009 class is mostly full. 

Posted under Recruiting

Class Full? Recruiting Roundup

With the recent commitment of Cass Tech’s Thomas Gordon, it appears that the 2009 recruiting class is nearly full. Assuming William Campbell recommits to Michigan (which appears likely but certainly not set in stone), Michigan may save a couple slots for surprises from top prospects.

Several of Michigan’s commits have mentioned the possibility that they might enroll early. Curious? let’s run through the list:

  • CA QB Tate Forcier
  • TX QB Shavodrick Beaver
  • FL RB Vincent Smith
  • FL LB Brandin Hawthorne

Campbell, if he recommits, has also mentioned that he is on track to graduate early, and that he would like to enroll in the winter. Of course, he has also mentioned that he won’t commit until the Army All-American game, clearly unaware that he would have to register for classes before said game, which would give just a teeny hint where he was leaning.

Forcier and Beaver are obviously the most important early enrollers on this list. With the shaky situation at quarterback throughout the 2008 season, Michigan needs a signal-caller that can help ASAP. With Tate Forcier’s polished game coming out of college, and early enrollment would allow him to use spring practice to adjust to the speed and physical nature of the college game, in preparation for contributing during the 2009 year.

Since early-enrollees don’t count against the 2009 class, but rather against the group from 2008, I’m curious about whether Michigan’s 2008 class size, full save for the defections f Marcus Witherspoon and Taylor hill, will violate NCAA recruiting rules if too many of these players enroll in the winter. If anyone has particular insight into the regulations, let’s hear about it. My suspicion is that early-enrollees can count towards either class.

for those worried about lower-ranked guys in the class, you can take heart in the following:

  • Anthony Fera may only have 3 stars, but he is considered the #2 kicker in the country. Kickers are rarely given anything higher than that by the recruiting services.
  • Jordan Barnes has been mentioned by others as a guy who may see a ratings bump.
  • Michael Schofield is a four-star to Rivals (three on Scout).
  • Brandin Hawthorne is an athletic prospect who may be a bit of a project, but has high upside.
  • Jeremy Gallon has four stars to Rivals (three on Scout), and has been running up tons of yards (in several different ways) in his senior season.
  • Teric Jones started the year lowly-rated because he didn’t start last year, as he was stuck behind another Division-1 prospect, Indiana’s Cortez Smith. He has been having a solid season thus far in 2008.
  • Isaiah Bell doesn’t really impress either Scout or Rivals, but ESPN loves the kid.
  • Fitzgerald Toussaint was already a four-star to Rivals (three on Scout), but he has been absolutely killing it this year. He has averaged well over 200 yards and a few touchdowns so far this season. If that production continues, he might even be able to make a case for five-star status.
  • Mike Jones was lowly rated because he was injured his entire junior year. He is healthy this year, and is playing linebacker in HS (where he will likely play in college; he had been playing safety in high school to this point). His ranking could improve (though that isn’t always the case with early-committed players).
  • DeQuinta Jones may be overshadowed by the fact that he plays on a very talented defensive line. If nothing else, he helps Michigan start a pipeline to a very strong program.
  • Vincent Smith doesn’t have the height to be considered a top-top prospect by the recruiting services, but he perfectly fits the mold of Rodriguez slotback.
  • DeWayne Peace was only offered after he impressed the coaches at summer camp. He is a good example of a “trust the coaches” case.

So who, aside from Campbell, might still end up in this class? The most likely prospects include another offensive lineman or two (Craig Roh’s teammate Taylor Lewan, or one of the Carolina duo of Quinton Washington and Travis Bond), possibly another defensive end, another linebacker (Jelani Jenkins plz), and perhaps even another DB. 

How will it shake out? We’ll have to wait to see, but no matter what, it should be an exciting ride.

Posted under Recruiting

Ricardo Miller Goes Blue

GoBluewolverine is reporting that Ricardo Miller, a Wide Receiver/Tight End from Orlando’s Dr. Phillips High School has given his word to become Michigan’s first commitment in the class of 2010. Miller is a big receiver at 6-2 and over 200 pounds.

Recruiting Notes
Miller has always been aware of Michigan, as his mom is an alumna (who favored Michigan as a destination for Ricardo). However, Michigan fans first became aware of him when he attended the summer 2008 Rich Rodriguez Football Camp for the entire week. He also attended the Friday Night Lights camp at the University of Florida, but still seemed to be favoring Michigan. Through these events, Miller formed friendships with Michigan 2010 targets Marvin Robinson (who also appears to favor Michigan early in the process) and Jeremy Jackson (the son of RB coach Fred Jackson). In August, Miller went on the record saying that Michigan was his leader (info in header), and made plans for a fall visit to Ann Arbor for the Michigan State game. However, it didn’t take Miller that long to pull the trigger, and he became Michigan’s first 2010 commit tonight.

Player Notes
As previously noted, Miller is a big wideout, who may find his home at Michigan as an athletic pass-catching TE. In fact, tight end is where he spends most of his time on offense for Dr. Phillips, and he even has enough size to play defensive end on the other side of the ball. However, without a growth spurt, I would expect him to stay at WR on offense, being a big red zone threat. He has very good speed for a TE (decent for a WR), and is even known to take a tight end-around or two for his high schol team. He also has a big body, allowing him to overpower defenders, and he has decent hands. As a blocker, he is good on the high school level, but would need to improve his strength to block D-I defensive linemen.


Sophomore highlights at TE and WR.

Posted under Recruiting

My Postgame Thoughts

Since I let Paul’s post stand on its own after the game Saturday, here are a few things I’d like to add:

  • First off, Paul’s text message about UConn had to do with the fair catch on a bounced ball. I’m not positive, but I think once the ball touches the ground in NCAA, the right to a fair catch is forfeited. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong.
  • Why did Rodriguez call a timeout (and the refs clarified that it was NOT a challenge) after one of the Wisconsin fumble recoveries. I thought the play was close enough to warrant a challenge, and I think it’s ridiculous that the booth didn’t use the commercial break to at least take another look. From the angles that were shown in the stadium, the Wisconsin player’s left leg was out of bounds by the time he recovered the ball.
  • On that note, at halftime, I was formulating a post in my head about how the refs didn’t cause Michigan to win… but they sure didn’t help. They were much better in the second half, and Michigan may have even gotten a couple of breaks.
  • Steven Threet. 58-yard run. Awesome.
  • Wisconsin fans have picked up the torch from Penn State fans for the honor of “second biggest assholes in the conference.” I said good game to a guy wearing a t-shirt that read “I wouldn’t cheer for Michigan if they were playing Iraq” (yay for dated reference!), and he couldn’t muster anything more than a sneer. He was one of the lesser douchebags I encountered all weekend.

And this stuff may deserve its own post, but I’ll take this opportunity to bitch about the fans:
If you don’t know anything about football, don’t bitch about play calling, etc. I may start a regular feature on Mondays called “From the Dumbest Fan in the Stands,” or give an “atmosphere report” for games that I go to. Option A will be accompanied by the photo you see on the right.
  • If you booed in the first half, you can try to say you were booing the coaching decisions, but you’re either lying or you don’t know about football. The coaches were calling downfield passes, but Threet wasn’t executing. Would you have preferred they keep going to it so we could have had 8 turnovers? The offensive line couldn’t block anyone on running plays. Sure, the coaches are partially culpable, but the players were struggling.
  • Despite all the bad, the stadium didn’t get nearly as quiet during the first three quarters as I would have expected. Most of the noise was coming from the student section at that time, but there were still a few people in the South endzone stepping up.
  • By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the crowd was as loud as I can remember it being.
  • Until the major comeback, my companion and I were the ONLY people in our immediate vicinity (south endzone, row 16) who had stood up on a third down in the game. That is pitiful if you can’t even get up and yell on an important play.
  • At halftime, some idiot behind me yelled “Why don’t you go back to West Virginia, ya stupid snake-oil salesman!” This was stupid for all the obvious reasons, and I thought I had the perfect response “How about we keep him and get rid of you?” Of course, after the game (and I have to give him at least some credit for staying the whole time), he was preaching the glory of the spread.
For ITP this week, we’ll probably be taking a look at Wisconsin’s two 2-point conversion attempts, and what was the difference between the two. If you’d prefer something else (and not the Threet keeper, since we’ve already covered the zone-read ad nauseam), drop your opinion in the comments and Paul and I will try to accommodate you.

Posted under Analysis, Coaching

Blogpoll Preliminary Ballot: Week 5

Rank Team Delta
1 Oklahoma 1
2 LSU 4
3 Alabama 14
4 Texas 1
5 Missouri 3
6 Penn State 1
7 Brigham Young 4
8 South Florida 4
9 Florida 6
10 Southern Cal 9
11 Oklahoma State 2
12 Auburn 2
13 Ohio State 3
14 Texas Tech 1
15 Georgia 11
16 Utah
17 Kansas 1
18 Illinois 4
19 Vanderbilt 4
20 Boise State 4
21 Fresno State
22 Florida State 4
23 Virginia Tech 3
24 Wake Forest 5
25 Northwestern 1

Dropped Out: Wisconsin (#9), Miami (Florida) (#20), Clemson (#25).

Games Watched: USC-Oregon State, much of Louisville-UConn, Ohio State-Minnesota, First half of Michigan State-Indiana, Most of UMiami-UNC, Michigan-Wisconsin (live only), A tiny portion of Oklahoma-TCU, Georgia-Alabama, Penn State-Illinois. Less than usual because the Michigan game wiped me out. Plus I forgot to DVR things.

Yeah, so I’m not particularly enthused about this ballot. Plus, I didn’t get a chance to watch as many games as I would have liked. So, let me have it, I know I deserve it this week.

Posted under BlogPoll

Friday Night Lights 2009: September 28

As you can see, when I purport to give comprehensive stats, it looks dumb when the stats are anything less than comprehensive. If you know of an article that can help out, let me know. I’ll fill in the remaining game articles/stats as I find the articles.

CA QB Tate Forcier
This Week: Scripps Ranch v. Morse. Scripps wins 47-7.

Season Totals: Scripps Ranch 2-1.
Tate Forcier 2008
Game Comp Att % Yds TD Int Yds/Att Rush Yds Yds/Att TD
Poway 19 32 59.38 269 1 0 8.41 8 81 10.13 2
West Hills 16 29 55.17 234 1 0 8.07
Morse 10 12 83.33 267 5 0 22.25
Totals 45 73 61.64 770 7 0 10.55 8 81 10.13 2

Forciers rushing stats are unfortunately not included in the box scores.

TX QB Shavodrick Beaver

This Week: Rider v. Denton Ryan. Rider wins 35-32.
Season Totals: Rider 1-3.
Shavodrick Beaver 2008
Game Comp Att % Yds TD Int Yds/Att Rush Yds Yds/Att TD
Cedar Hill 18 25 72.00 272 1 0 10.88 14 103 7.36 2
Sulphur Springs 21 33 63.64 249 2 2 7.55 18 84 4.67 0
Tyler 13 26 50.00 105 1 0 4.04 8 55 6.88 1
Ryan 9 18 50.00 123 0 0 6.83 7
< /td>
27 3.86 2
Totals 61 102 59.80 749 1 0 7.34 47 269 5.72 5

MI RB Teric Jones
This Week: Cass v. King. Cass wins 17-0.

Season Totals: Cass 5-0.

Teric Jones 2008
Game Rush Yds Yds/Att TD
Central 18 157 8.72 2
Crockett (200+)
Denby 7 124 17.71 2
King 9 103 11.44 1
Totals 57 580 10.18 5

If Jones’s stats seem kinda low, it’s partially because he hasn’t seen the second half in many of Cass Tech’s blowouts so far.

OH RB Fitzgerald Toussaint
This Week: Liberty v. Champion. Liberty wins 35-0.

Season Totals: Liberty 6-0.

“Toussaint’s scoring runs covered 9, 33, 63, 65 and 75 yards.”

Fitzgerld Toussaint 2008
Game Rush Yds Yds/Att TD Rec Yds Yds/Rec TD
Brookfield 19 115 6.05 1 1 48 48.00 1
Niles 15 209 13.93 4
Campbell 15 261 17.40 4
Struthers 19 258 13.58 4
Salem 13 246 18.92 4
Champion 14 282 20.14 5
Totals 95 1371 14.43 22 1 48 48.00 1

FL RB Vincent Smith
This Week: Pahokee v. Jupiter. Pahokee wins 34-10. Another article (remember the name De’Joshua Johnson).
Season Totals: Pahokee 4-1.

Vincent Smith 2008
Game Rush Yds Yds/Att TD
Olive Branch 17 135 7.94 2
PB Gardens 12 73 6.08 2
King’s (100+)
PB Lakes 19 241 12.68 3
Jupiter 156 2
Totals 48 449 9.35 9

MN WR Bryce McNeal
This Week: Breck v. St. Croix.
Season Totals: Breck 3-1 (plus)

Bryce McNeal 2008
Game Rec Yds Yds/Rec TD KORet Yds TD
Brooklyn Center
St. Bernard’s 1 85 1
St. Croix
Totals 19 32 59.38 1 0 8.41 8

FL Slot Jeremy Gallon
This Week: Apopka v. Ocoee. Apopka wins 49-7.
Season Totals: Apopka 3-1.

Jeremy Gallon 2008
Passing Rushing Receiving
Game Comp Att % Yds TD Int Yds/Att Rush Yds Yds/Att TD Rec Yds Yds/Rec TD
Lake Brantley 1 1 100.00 60 1 0 60 ? 226 ? 0 1 27 27.00 1
Freedom 1 3 33.00 5 0 ? 54 ? 2 1 6 6.00 0
South Panola 5 8 62.50 132 2 0 16.5 22 160 7.27 1
Totals 7 12 59.38 195 3 0 8.41 63 440 6.98 3 2 33 16.50 1

Also, 1 KO return TD

IL OL Michael Schofield
This Week: Sandburg v. Lockport. Sandburg wins 10-0.
Season Totals: Sandburg 4-1.

LA DT DeQuinta Jones
This Week: Bastrop v. East St. John. Bastrop wins 22-18.

Season Totals: Bastrop 4-0.
Jones: 6 tackles against RichWood

NJ DE Anthony LaLota
This Week: Hun v. Penn Charter. Hun wins 17-6.
Season Totals: Hun 2-1.

Anthony LaLota 2008
Defense Offense
Game Tackle Sack Team Rush
Wyoming Seminary
Mercersburg 5 2 406
Penn Charter
Totals 19 32 59.38

AZ DE Craig Roh
This Week: Chaparral v. Apache Junction. Chaparral wins 31-12.
Season Totals: Chaparral 5-0.

Craig Roh 2008
Game Tackle Sack Safety Int Yds Def TD Rec Yds 2Pt
Marana 13 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 3 1
Cienega 13 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Prescott 6 2.5 1 0 0 0 1 3 1
Copper Canyon 7 2 0 1 60 1 0 0 0
Apache Junction
Totals 39 5.5 1 1 60 1 2 6 2

IN LB Jordan Barnes
This Week: Homestead v. DeKalb. Homestead wins 42-35.
Season Totals: Homestead 5-1.

FL LB Mike Jones
This Week: Edgewater v. Evans. Edgewater wins 28-0.
Season Totals: Edgewater 1-2.
Jones: 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 blocked FG.

FL LB Brandin Hawthorne
This Week: Pahokee v. Jupiter. Pahokee wins 34-10.
Season Totals: Pahokee 4-1.

OH S Isaiah Bell
This Week: Liberty v. Champion. Liberty wins 35-0.

Season Totals: Liberty 6-0.
Since we can’t fins stats on Bell, enjoy his highlights package from the game against Niles (second of the year).

OH CB/S Justin Turner
This Week: Washington v. St. Ignatius. Massillon loses 49-7.

Justin Turner scored Massillon’s touchdown on an interception return.

Justin Turner 2008
Game Rush Yds Yds/Att TD Rec Yds Yds/Rec TD Int Yds TD
Buchtel 22 140 6.36 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jordan 23 128 5.57 1
Normandy ? 156 3
Ursuline 1 13 13.00 1
Garfield 22 192 8.73 2 1 41 1
St. Ignatius 1 1
Totals 69 460 6.67 6 1 13 13.00 1 2 41 2

TX CB/WR DeWayne Peace
This Week: South Grand Prairie v. Nimitz. South wins 28-0.

Season Totals: SGP 4-1.

DeWayne Peace 2008
Game Rec Yds Yds/Rec TD Rush Yds Yds/Rush TD Yds Yds/Att TD
Northwest 5 70 14.00 2 2 65 32.5 1
Totals 22 363 16.5 7 1 0 8.41 8 81 10.13 2

TX K Anthony Fera
This Week: Pius v. Sealy. Pius wins 14-7.

Season Totals: Pius 2-1

Anthony Fera 2008
Game XPM XPA % FGM FGA % Long
Westbury 5 5 100 1 1 100 39
Columbia 1 1 100 0 0
Morse 2 2 100 0 0
Totals 8 8 100 1 1 100 39

MI S Thomas Gordon
This Week: Cass Tech v. King. Cass wins 17-0.
Season Totals: Cass Tech 5-0.

Thomas Gordon 2008
Game Comp Att % Yds TD Int Yds/Att Rush Yds Yds/Att TD
Denby 10 16 62.50 163 3 0 10.19
King 1 1 100 3 (2pt) 0 3.00 14 98 7.00 0

Since this is Gordon’s first week in FNL, I stuck him at the bottom, and his stats are really incomplete. He’ll move in with the safeties (and hopefully with a more complete stats section) next week.

Posted under Recruiting

Instant Reaction: Wisconsin

This is a collection of text messages I sent to Tim during the game. They are in chronological order:

  • so notre dames defense is really bad then…
  • i thought that was nfl only. uconn showed thats completely legit (this is about the fair catch call)
  • yakety sax
  • :(
  •  sheridan eta (I didn’t want this, but I am surprised that the staff stuck with Threet all game. Our starter ladies and gentlemen)
  • that was a sheridan-esque pick to end the half
  • guess what richrod is asking for christmas (the answer is an offensive line)
  • games i needed to be drunker for:
  • i think the 2010 board may need to debut this week to prevent mass suicide
  • chocolate milk power?

After that, it became a game and the phone stayed in the pocket. For most of the year, the team has looked as though it gets stronger in the second half and even into the fourth quarter.  This game should difinitively prove that Michigan is officially a second half teaml, which for anyone who watched the 2005 seaon, is a welcome change.

This has been seen a lot and posted here more than once, but it bears repeating.  You go twelve rounds…

Posted under Analysis

Big Ten 2009 Recruiting Class Rankings 9-27-08

Action since last rankings:
9-26-08 Michigan gains commitment from Thomas Gordon.

Apparently while I wasn’t paying attention (and I rarely am), Rivals updated its rankings. I’ve adjusted them accordingly below. Also, for consistency’s sake, I’m now only including prospects who are listed on the Rivals commit lists.

New Rankings:

#1 Ohio State – 25 commits
LB ***** Dorian Bell
RB **** Jaamal Berry
DT **** Johnny Simon
DE **** Melvin Fellows
CB **** CJ Barnett
WR **** James Jackson
MLB **** Storm Klein
MLB **** Jordan Whiting
RB **** Jordan Hall
OG **** Corey Linsley
OT **** Jack Mewhort
S **** Jamie Wood
WR **** Justin Green
RB **** Carlos Hyde
CB **** Corey Brown
S **** Bradley McDougald
WR **** Chris Fields
CB **** Dominic Clarke
WR *** Duron Carter
DE *** Jonathan Newsome
TE *** Reid Fragel
DT *** Adam Bellamy
FB *** Adam Homan
LB *** Zach Boren
OL *** Sam Longo

Down: Berry (from 5)

< td style="border:1px solid rgb(0,0,102);">***

#2 Michigan – 19 commits
CB **** Justin Turner
QB **** Tate Forcier
QB **** Shavodrick Beaver
WR **** Bryce McNeal
RB **** Fitzgerald Toussaint
WR **** Jeremy Gallon
OL **** Michael Schofield
DT **** DeQuinta Jones
DE **** Anthony LaLota
DE **** Craig Roh
S *** Isaiah Bell
WR *** DeWayne Peace
RB Teric Jones
LB *** Jordan Barnes
S *** Mike Jones
K *** Anthony Fera
LB *** Brandin Hawthorne
RB *** Vincent Smith
S *** Thomas Gordon

Changes: None.

#3 Notre Dame – 14 commits
RB ***** Cierre Wood
OL **** Chris Watt
RB **** Theo Riddick
DT **** Tyler Stockton
OL **** Alex Bullard
CB **** Marlon Pollard
LB **** Dan Fox
OL **** Zach Martin
S *** EJ Banks
TE *** Tyler Eifert
MLB *** Carlo Calabrese
P *** Ben Turk
K ** Nicholas Tausch
TE ** Jake Golic

Up: Turk (from 1).
I still anticipate a drop for Fox. There’s got to be a reason a guy from Ohio never even got on the radar of OSU or either Michigan school.

#4 Michigan State – 15 commits
RB **** Edwin Baker
RB **** Larry Caper
SLB **** Chris Norman
OL **** David Barrent
WR **** Donald Spencer
DT **** Blake Treadwell
QB **** Andrew Maxwell
OL **** Nate Klatt
WR *** Dana Dixon
LB *** Tyquan Hammock
OL *** Micajah Reynolds
WR *** Patrick White
DE *** Dan France
WR ** Bennie Fowler
TE ** Derek Hoebing

Up: Klatt (from 3).
I’m going to be honest here: I’ve seen Maxwell play this year and BOY HOWDY does he suck. He might end up a three-star when all is said and done, unless the game against Saginaw just happened to be the worst of his life.

#5 Penn State – 16 commits
OT **** Eric Shrive
CB **** Darrell Givens
DE **** Sean Stanley
S *** Stephen Obeng-Agyapong
S *** Malcolm Willis
S *** Derrick Thomas
C *** Ty Howle
CB *** Stephon Morris
WR *** Brandon Felder
OT *** Adam Gress
OL *** Nate Cadogan
RB *** Curtis Dukes
QB ** Curtis Drake
OG ** Frank Figueroa
WR ** Christian Kuntz
OT ** Mark Arcidiacono

Down: Arcidiacono (from 3).
Up: Dukes (from 2).

#6 Illinois – 14 commits
DT **** Lendell Buckner
OT **** Leon Hill
QB **** Nathan Scheelhaase
RB **** Bud Golden
WR **** Terry Hawthorne
OL *** Andrew Carter
FB *** Greg Fuller
OL *** Hugh Thornton
WR ** Steve Hull
S ** Tommie Hopkins
CB ** Joelil Thrash
OL ** Jake Feldmeyer
LB ** Darryl Lee

Changes: Kraig Appleton not considered committed.

#7 Wisconsin – 13 commits
DT **** Jared Kohout
DE **** Shelby Harris
OG *** Ryan Groy
QB *** Jon Budmayr
OT *** Zac Matthias
RB *** Montee Ball
TE *** Brian Wozniak
MLB *** Chris Borland
OL *** Travis Frederick
LB *** AJ Fenton
WR *** Jeff Duckworth
OL ** Casey Dehn
S ** Jason Peprah

Up: Duckworth (from 2).

#8 Minnesota – 9 commits
RB **** Hasan Lipscomb
RB **** Eric Stephens
QB *** Moses Alipate
C *** Ed Olsen
OT *** Josh Campion
WR *** Victor Keise
OL *** Brooks Michel
DE ** Nick Rengel
K ** Dan Orseske

Changes: None.

#9 Indiana – 17 commits
LB *** Jeremy Gainer
QB *** Edward Wright-Baker
DT *** Adam Replogle
WR *** Jamonne Chester
WR *** Duwyce Wilson
OL *** Charles Chapman
QB *** Dustin Kiel
OL *** Colin Rodkey
CB *** Lawrence Barnett
K *** Mitch Ewald
S *** Nick Zachery
S *** Demetrius Carr
S *** Ted Bolser
OL *** Pat McShane
S ** Kenny Watkins
DE ** Javon Cornley

Changes: Keyt not listed as a commit.
Up: Barnett, Zachery, Carr, Bolser, McShane, Ewald (from two).

#10 Iowa – 6 commits
WR **** Keenan Davis
RB **** Brandon Wegher
WR *** Jordan Cotton
FB *** Brad Rogers
OL ** Drew Clark
OL ** Brett Van Sloten

Changes: none.

#11 Northwestern – 7 commits
OL **** Patrick Ward
QB *** Evan Watkins
RB *** Mike Trumpy
DE *** Anthony Battle
WR ** Drew Moulton
OL ** Brian Smith
OL ** Taylor Paxton
LB * Tim Riley

Changes: None.

#12 Purdue – 6 commits
QB ** Rob Henry
DE ** Trevor Foy
S ** Ishmael Aristide
WR ** Gary Bush
DE ** Shayon Green
WR ** Josh Johnson

Changes: Kris Cooke not considered committed.

Posted under Recruiting

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Thomas Gordon Goes Blue

Detroit Cass Tech QB/S Thomas Gordon (6-0 200) has given his word to become a Michigan Wolverine. Gordon will likely be a defensive back at Michigan, but could fill in as a signal-caller if an injury situation were to require it. Gordon becomes the 19th member of the 2009 Michigan recruiting class.

Recruiting Notes
Gordon made it no secret from the get-go that the Wolverines were his favorite school, and spent much of the recruiting cycle waiting for his offer. He attended Michigan’s camp with his teammates Teric Jones and Will Campbell this summer, but his performance did not earn him that coveted offer. Gordon became a more serious prospect for Michigan later, as more schools began to offer. Thomas attended Michigan State’s game last weekend on a visit, where the Spartans gave him an offer. Shortly thereafter, Michigan followed suit, but Gordon chose to not immediately end his recruitment, giving respect to those that had offered him earlier. Gordon scheduled his announcement for September 26th, and despite a few changes to that schedule, he went with his heart on that date, picking the Wolverines.

Player Notes
Gordon is the starting QB for Cass Tech High School, but wasn’t deemed worthy of an offer at that position. When he attended college summer camps in 2008, several coaching staffs requested that he work out at the safety position. Though his performance didn’t garner any big-time offers, it did pique the interest of Rich Rodriguez and company. 2 games into the 2008 Cass Tech season, the coaches were convinced he could contribute at safety. He will be a DB at Michigan, though he would also be capable of playing QB in an emergency. Gordon is given two stars by Scout, though Rivals deems him worthy of the third star. He is a high-upside guy who might see his ranking increase, since he has only been playing safety for a half season.

With two of his good friends and teammates now solidly committed to Michigan (on top of Boubacar Cissoko, who is a freshman standout in Ann Arbor), there is a good chance that William Campbell is more likely to recommit to Michigan.

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