Friday Night Lights 2009: November 30

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Marques Slocum And Facebook: Part Duex

We’ve all seen glorious Facebook quiz that Marques Slocum put together. Luckily for us, the glorious union between Marques ‘Grand Marques’ Slocum and Facebook has not been severed. Rosey saw this pop up in his newsfeed and passed it along to me. For those of you with a login, login now and look at. For those of you who aren’t down with social networking:

Click for largeness

There are so many layers to this group. It’s like an onion that when peel away the layers it makes you laugh instead of cry. When my buddy sent me the link, I wasn’t signed in, so I couldn’t see all the info. The first thing I said to him was “Oh God, please let this be made by Marques Slocum.” He apparently heard my prayers because when I signed in, there was his name under creator. I couldn’t be more happy right now.

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Big Ten 2009 Recruiting Class Rankings 11-29-08

Action since last rankings:
11-22-08 Minnesota gains commitment from Daryl Robinson.
11-24-08 Michigan gains commitment from Vladimir Emilien.
11-28-08 Northwestern gains commitment from John Pasencia.

Michigan passes Notre Dame to regain its throne as #2 recruiting class. Considering the fact that Notre Dame is likely to start hemorrhaging recruits when their coach is either fired immediately or effective following another shitty year in 2009, I doubt the Irish will get back up to the #2 spot. However, stranger things have happened.

New Rankings:

#1 Ohio State – 24 commits
LB ***** Dorian Bell
RB **** Jaamal Berry
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
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
DT *** Johnny Simon
#2 Michigan – 20 commits
CB **** Justin Turner
QB **** Tate Forcier
QB **** Shavodrick Beaver
RB **** Fitzgerald Toussaint
S **** Vladimir Emilien
WR **** Jeremy Gallon
OL **** Michael Schofield
DT **** DeQuinta Jones
DE **** Anthony LaLota
DE **** Craig Roh
DT **** Pearlie Graves
S *** Isaiah Bell
WR *** DeWayne Peace
RB *** Teric Jones
LB *** Jordan Barnes
S *** Mike Jones
LB *** Brandin Hawthorne
RB *** Vincent Smith
S *** Thomas Gordon
K ** Brendan Gibbons
#3 Notre Dame – 17 commits
RB ***** Cierre Wood
WR **** Shaquelle Evans
OL **** Chris Watt
RB **** Theo Riddick
DT **** Tyler Stockton
OL **** Alex Bullard
CB **** Marlon Pollard
LB **** Dan Fox
OL **** Zach Martin
LB **** Zeke Motta
S *** Nyshier Oliver
S *** EJ Banks
TE *** Tyler Eifert
MLB *** Carlo Calabrese
P *** Ben Turk
K ** Nicholas Tausch
TE ** Jake Golic

Down: Shaquelle Evans (from 5)

#4 Michigan State – 16 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
LB *** Denicos Allen
WR *** Bennie Fowler
TE ** Derek Hoebing
#5 Penn State – 20 commits
OT **** Eric Shrive
CB **** Darrell Givens
DE **** Sean Stanley
S **** Derrick Thomas
S *** Stephen Obeng-Agyapong
S *** Malcolm Willis
C *** Ty Howle
CB *** Stephon Morris
WR *** Brandon Felder
OT *** Adam Gress
OL *** Nate Cadogan
RB *** Curtis Dukes
LB *** Glenn Carson
ATH *** Devon Smith
K *** Anthony Fera
QB ** Curtis Drake
OG ** Frank Figueroa
WR ** Christian Kuntz
OT ** Mark Arcidiacono
DE ** Garry Gilliam
#6 Illinois – 15 commits
DT **** Lendell Buckner
OT **** Leon Hill
QB **** Nathan Scheelhaase
RB **** Bud Golden
WR **** Terry Hawthorne
DE **** Craig Drummond
OL *** Andrew Carter
FB *** Greg Fuller
OL *** Hugh Thornton
DT *** Tank Carradine
WR *** Steve Hull
S ** Tommie Hopkins
CB ** Joelil Thrash
OL ** Jake Feldmeyer
LB ** Darryl Lee

Up: Steve Hull (from 2).

#7 Wisconsin – 16 commits
DT **** Jared Kohout
DE **** Shelby Harris
DE **** David Gilbert
RB **** Montee Ball
LB *** Conor O’Neill
DE *** Tyler Dippel
OG *** Ryan Groy
QB *** Jon Budmayr
OT *** Zac Matthias
TE *** Brian Wozniak
MLB *** Chris Borland
OL *** Travis Frederick
LB *** AJ Fenton
WR *** Jeff Duckworth
OL ** Casey Dehn
S ** Jason Peprah
#8 Indiana – 16 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
#9 Minnesota – 15 commits
RB **** Hasan Lipscomb
WR **** Hayo Carpenter
QB *** Moses Alipate
C *** Ed Olsen
OT *** Josh Campion
WR *** Victor Keise
OL *** Brooks Michel
LB *** Kendell Gregory-McGhee
DB *** Kerry Lewis
TE *** Ra’Shede Hageman
DT *** Joey Se
DE *** Matt Garin
DE ** Nick Rengel
K ** Dan Orseske
CB * Daryl Robinson
#10 Northwestern – 14 commits
OL **** Patrick Ward
QB *** Evan Watkins
RB *** Mike Trumpy
DE *** Anthony Battle
LB *** Will Studlien
OL *** Taylor Paxton
DB *** Davion Fleming
RB *** Arby Fields
OL ** Brian Smith
WR ** Drew Moulton
LB ** Tim Riley
LB ** Tyler Scott
DE ** John Plasencia
S * Cooper Gerami
#11 Iowa – 13 commits
WR **** Keenan Davis
RB **** Brandon Wegher
WR *** Jordan Cotton
FB *** Brad Rogers
OL ** Drew Clark
DT ** Scott Covert
OL ** Brett Van Sloten
TE ** Justin Lattimore
TE ** Anthony Schiavone
LB ** Tyler Harrell
LB ** Shane DiBona
LB ** Martin Hopkins
CB ** Joshua Brown
#12 Purdue – 10 commits
DT *** Eric McDaniel
DE *** Shayon Green
TE *** Gabrison Holmes
DE ** Trevor Foy
S ** Ishmael Aristide
WR ** Gary Bush
QB ** Rob Henry
WR ** Josh Johnson
DT ** Brandon Taylor
DB * Chris Quinn

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2009 Recruiting Update 11-28-08

The Board.

Moved to Committed:
FL S Vladimir Emilien.

New Information:
MD RB/Ath Tavon Austin. I was about ready to remove him, but not it looks like he’ll visit December 12th.
AZ OL Taylor Lewan. Visited Minnesota this past weekend. Maybe helping Michigan in this one: the Gophers just lost their OL coach.
MI DT William Campbell. Bama-related mention.
IN LB Commit Jordan Barnes. Same as above (link the same as well).
FL LB Commit Brandin Hawthorne. Visiting Pitt this weekend (info in header).
OH CB Commit Justin Turner. Not losing faith in Michigan.

FL S Jonathan Scott. No apparent interest.
SC S DJ Swearinger. South Carolina commit.

UNC CB Commit Josh Hunter intends to visit Ann Arbor. I had been ready to eliminate OH OL Marcus Hall, because he had been naming a top group without us, but now it looks like he’s planning a Michigan visit. I still think the Wolverines don’t stand a chance, but he’ll remain on the board until they’re officially eliminated. GA WR Jamal Patterson remains “100% committed” to Stanford.

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Discussing Michigan Football with the Family

At Thanksgiving Dinner this year the talk flowed into Michigan’s disappointing football season. Almost all the siblings on my dad’s side went to Michigan for some amount of time (only one graduated). My aunt brought up how East Grand Rapids coach Peter Stuursma inherited nothing and is now going to the state championships every other year (for the sake of this story, we’ll overlook how Kevin Grady’s dad finds “housing” in the district for some talented athletes).

When my uncle brought up the fact that he lost 6 games his first season (that’s a 2-6 season which is the same winning percentage as 3-9 fyi…), she said “Yes, but after that they won a lot of games every year.” At that point my hand was firmly attached to my forehead. When I said what the difference was between Peter Stuursma’s first year and Rich Rodriguez’s, she said that something was, but she couldn’t explain it to me.

Then I explained how Rich Rodriguez generally had a rough first year followed by a fairly good second year and then BECOMES A MACHINE. I told them how at WVU he had one bad year followed by four years of 8+ wins and 3 years of 10+ wins*. After I said that, another uncle said “10 wins won’t cut it at Michigan.” At this point I’m trying to resist the urge to fly over the table with a butter knife. Lloyd Carr was a great coach and only had 5 of 12 years with double digit wins. Bo Schembechler, THE Michigan coach in the modern era was only slightly better at 10 of 20 seasons of 10+ wins**.

I’m hoping he just doesn’t really know football. If Michigan fans think 10 wins is unacceptable, we’re worse off than I expected. 10 wins is a great season. 8 wins is a good season. Sure we’re Michigan and our team should always be in contention for a championship, but you can’t expect to be a game or two away every year. With limited scholarships, you don’t have hegemonic powers. There is more ebb and flow. It’s time Michigan fans learn to appreciate what we’ve had, have and will soon have.

*People are mature. From Rich Rodriguez’s Wikpedia entry:

**It’ s a little hard to compare the to eras given Bo only had 10 games with a much harder to reach bowl up until 1975, but Lloyd’s whole tenure was within the era of limited scholarship era. I’m not sure if the factors balance out or not.

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Across the Border: Ohio State

For the final time this season, Massey from Buckeye Commentary drops by to give his opinions on Michigan’s game.

What I saw: Ohio State’s big play offense, which had been largely absent for the entire season. Wells had two runs of more than 50 yards, Boom Herron tore off a 50-yarder, and both Pryor and Boeckman threw passes of more than 45 yards. In fact, the Buckeyes’ big plays were all that was necessary during a two-play, 92-yard drive that only took 45 seconds. Throw in the often disciplined, and sometimes suspended Ray Small’s third quarter punt return and you saw a more offensive bursts than Ohio State had produced all year.

I saw the Ohio State defense have its hardest hitting game of the year. Sheridan was constantly getting drilled and even seemed to be knocked out of the game briefly (although Feagin’s appearance could have been planned).

What I didn’t see: Michigan’s offense was did not have much success but I did not see the mistake laden productions that they have put on in the past. Michigan had one nice drive, but was otherwise stifled by the Ohio State defense. The Wolverines’ offense was not good, but they hardly shot themselves in the foot (relatively speaking). I did not see repeated fumbles or penalties, which tells me that they were prepared but totally outmanned.

I did not see a great game from Pryor. He receives so much praise that it is easy to only remember his flashes of brilliance. But a closer inspection of his performance, reveals some great plays – the 3rd quarter scramble and pass to Sanzenbacher and the deep ball to Hartline – mixed in with plenty of poor plays – the interception and holding the ball too long and taking some sacks. I understand that he was really pumped at the beginning of the game, which resulted in some high throws but his overall passing performance cannot be termed anything other than a work in progress.

I also did not see a super offensive line play from Ohio State and their play was certainly frustrated by Michigan’s front four. As an Ohio State fan you have to be excited by the dynamic runners on offense (Wells, Pryor, and Herron) but nervous about the prospects of the offensive line they run behind.
Who I watched: I was interested in the Michigan lines. I wanted to see if the defensive line would be able to consistently get into the OSU backfield and if the offensive line would be able to push around the underachieving Buckeyes’ front four.

In comparison, the defensive line played much better. As mentioned, Ohio State had some big plays but, in general, the Michigan front four played as well. I know that sounds crazy, but most of the Buckeyes’ long plays were the result of a bad linebacker and/or secondary play. If you watched Herron’s run, the safety is in position and gets burned near the line of scrimmage.

The Michigan offensive line had no such success. When a teams gains less than 200 yards there cannot be good offensive line play. The Ohio State defensive got pushed around on the Michigan scoring drive but won that battle the rest of the game.

What I expect next year: Michigan will be improved; they have to be. But I wonder if the record will be markedly better. I do not think they will be 3-9 again, but I could see 6-6 or 7-5. To me, it seems like that Rodriguez will play Feagin more or even opt for one of the incoming freshman quarterbacks. The upside for Threet or Sherdan does not seem to be there. All the Wolverine skill position players will be back. If they can get decent offensive line they could put up some reasonable stats.

On defense, I am less sure what to expect from the Wolverines. With three seniors on the defensive line (with 82 combined starts) along with draft-eligible Brandon Graham, the potential for an entirely new d-line is good, which is bad news. The linebacker corps is young and really seemed to struggle as the year went along, but they have an off-season to get it together. I think their secondary will only get better with the subtraction of Trent and Harrison. I think they are overrated. Put Cissoko back there and hope that some safeties appear on the scene in spring practice.

One thing I do not expect next season is to beat Michigan by 35 points again. I do not know if I will ever see that again.

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Recruiting: High School Games to Watch

For loyal readers fortunate (ha!) enough to live in Michigan (or, I guess anyone with satellite) FSN Detroit has every state championship game on this weekend, providing you with the opportunity to see several current and future targets in action, along with a lot of guys who will land at other instate schools.

MHSAA Division 8 Final Fri 10AM
Crystal Falls Forest Park v. Muskegon Catholic Central

MHSAA Division 2 Final Fri 1PM
Muskegon v. Warren DeLaSalle
Terrance Taylor was a star at Muskegon (as was USC’s Ronald Johnson), and they are consistently one of the best teams in the state, and even the country.

MHSAA Division 6 Final Fri 4:30 PM
Montague v. Leslie

MHSAA Division 4 Final Fri 11PM
Holland Christian v. Detroit Country Day
Holland Christian Senior QB AJ Westendorp is a potential walkon candidate, though don’t be surprised if he accepts a scholarship offer from a different (likely smaller) school. Though he hasn’t even garnered an offer from GVSU, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where he ends up. Consider this your opportunity to determine if you think he deserves an offer.
Country Day has several prospects, including 2009 MSU verbal Bennie Fowler, in addition to 2010 players DT Chris Eddins and S Jason Ray.

MHSAA Division 7 Final Sat 10AM
Traverse City St. Francis v. Ubly
2010 MSU commit Max Bullough is the star linebacker for St. Francis. Offensive lineman Peter Rigan is also a potential Division-I player.

MHSAA Division 1 Final Sat 1PM
Rockford v. Lake Orion
Rockford has a 2010 linebacker of interest for Michigan fans, in Joe Stefanski.
Lake Orion is the alma mater of outgoing UM tackle Will Johnson and offensive lineman Ethan Ruhland of Michigan State.

MHSAA Division 5 Final Sat 4:30 PM
Ovid-Elsie v. Muskegon Oakridge
Ovid-Elsie has 2010 RB Chris Robinson, who could garner some bigger attention down the road.

MHSAA Division 3 Final Sun 12:30 AM
East Grand Rapids v. Inkster
Oddly, the best game (or at least one of them) is not airing until Sunday morning at 12:30 (It’s being played at 7:30, during a Red Wings game). 2009 WR/LB Cameron Gordon from Inkster has the attention of several BCS-caliber schools, including much of the Big Ten (and both instate schools). His 2010 teammate is the headliner, however, and QB Devin Gardner has his first opportunity to show off his skills on the big stage. It’s highly likely he’ll be doing the same over a year from now in one of the national all-star games.
East Grand Rapids, the alma mater of the Grady brothers, has the state’s most productive RB, Joe Glendening. They also sport TE/PF prospect Colin Voss, and Western Michigan commit TE Christopher Blair.

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Blogpoll Final Ballot: Week 13

Rank Team Delta
1 Alabama 1
2 Oklahoma 3
3 Texas
4 Florida
5 Texas Tech 4
6 Penn State
7 Southern Cal
8 Utah
9 Oklahoma State
10 Boise State
11 Georgia
12 Ohio State
13 Missouri
14 TCU
15 Oregon State 5
16 Cincinnati 3
17 Georgia Tech 6
18 Florida State 8
19 Michigan State 4
20 Boston College 6
21 Ball State
22 Iowa 4
23 Brigham Young 7
24 Pittsburgh 7
25 Northwestern 1

Dropped Out: Maryland (#18), North Carolina (#22), Miami (Florida) (#24), California (#25).

Changes from draft: I slid Michigan State past Boston College because I’m really uncomfortable with the ACC, though they’ll have the chance to move up with more football to be played, while the Spartans sit at home. of course, the ACC being what it is, who knows what will happen in their remaining game(s). I also slid Northwestern in at 25 over UNC, because of aforementioned uncertainty about their conference. Northwestern should not, however, be ranked ahead of Iowa as suggested. The Hawkeyes have a far superior signature win, and didn’t lose to freakin’ Indiana. Their overall resume is superior.

About the Big 12 South: So I pretty much ended up ignoring all the suggestions about what to do with Texas v. Oklahoma (I do think Tech’s loss was enough to drop them out of the discussion for #2). Everyone cited the Texas-OU score, or the fact that Texas’s loss was away as opposed to Oklahoma’s on a neutral field. However, the rankings are composed of more than just the head-to-head score, even when there is a pair (or in this case, a trio) of teams whose only losses come to each other. The entire season resume has to be taken into account, and Oklahoma had non-competitive games against Texas Tech in conference, and out of conference against Cincinnati (the likely Big East champion) and TCU (who finished 2nd in the pretty good Mountain West). Based on the entire season, Oklahoma is more deserving at this point than Oklahoma. The OSU game next week will either vindicate or completely change my opinion of the Sooners.

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DVD Contest Winner

spybucks182 won the score prediction contest for the Rivalry Series: Michigan Beat Ohio State DVD set.

spybucks, e-mail me (link on the right) your shipping information and I’ll send you the set.

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Artis Chambers Leaves Michigan

As had been rumored for well over a week, sophomore safety Artis Chambers has decided that he will leave the Michigan football program. Chambers will seek a transfer to another school, he told the Free Press.

Chambers was a three-star recruit out of Fort Wayne Snider high school in Indiana. Growing up, Artis had dreamed of playing for Michigan, but as he became a recruited prospect, didn’t think that would come to fruition. Eventually, Lloyd Carr offered him a scholarship, and Chambers was Michigan’s second verbal commitment in the class of 2007. Along with Vince Helmuth and Ryan Mallett, Chambers enrolled at Michigan in January of 2007, and went through spring practices with the team.

Chambers gained some playing time on special teams in 2007, though his most memorable aspect was perhaps something that happened off the field. It was rumored that Michigan would be forced to forfeit the contest against Penn State after news broke that Chambers had possibly not fully completed his high school work before enrolling at Michigan. However, no further ramifications came to fruition.

When Rich Rodriguez became the head coach in Ann Arbor, Chambers was moved to linebacker, and was reportedly doing well in the spring prior to an injury. While he was returning to health, fellow safety Michael Williams was also moved to linebacker, where he improved enough to beat out Chambers when he returned, healthy. During the season, Chambers played primarily on special teams, with limited action at linebacker.

The Scholarship Count is updated accordingly.

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