On Beaver

Shavodrick Beaver Decommits Obviously I don’t want this to become a recruiting-only site (and there is a recruiting update coming sometime today or tomorrow, though I foresee there being at least one post and likely two about the Oakland basketball game), but when something big happens, I think it’s important to address. This, obviously, is considered a big event.

After assuring everyone who would listen that he was firmly committed to Michigan, and would consider no other schools, Shavodrick Beaver pulled the old bait-and-switch on us all Friday, and decommitted from Michigan, giving his verbal pledge to Tulsa. That is correct, Shavodrick Beaver picked a Conference-USA team over one of the most storied programs in college football history.

Why did he do it?

So what could have possibly been Beaver’s motivation for changing his commitment? Rumors (and many of them complete guesses) have been thrown around from all corners of the internet, and nobody really knows which are true and which aren’t. One of the prevailing theories is that he wants to be closer to his mom, or his mom gave him no choice but to go somewhere closer to home. That may be the case, but then why not go somewhere closer? His original runner-up to Michigan was TCU. The Horned Frogs are based in Fort Worth, much closer to Wichita Falls than Tulsa is. Regardless, that factor may have been an issue in his commitment to Michigan sticking.

Another issue may have been the fact that he would have likely started – on account of his shoulder surgery – stuck behind Tate Forcier on the depth chart.Perhaps Beaver didn’t see a situation in which he would ever be able to play, being slotted behind a guy in his own class, with other guys coming in the future. The final theory is related to the first, and holds that he didn’t want the pressure of playing in a bigtime program, choosing instead to head to Conference-USA, where he could be a big-time player without the pressure of being in a program expecting big-time success. The one theory that doesn’t really make much sense is that the Michigan staff cut him loose. Despite his comments that the Tulsa coaches made him feel more like a member of the family (which every recruit has been saying about Michigan, as well), I think the Michigan coaching staff would have had a better contingency plan in place if they had any idea a decommitment was on the way.

As another side note, regardless of what those “in the know” say, almost nobody saw this coming (except perhaps the coaches themselves). Any retroactive “well I knew this was going to happen” is simply revisionist history, since just last week, most recruiting experts were trying to assure everyone that Beaver was still solid, and that the comments on his MySpace page were nothing to worry about. Being blindsided by an event like this is nothing to be ashamed of, and one shouldn’t rewrite history to give the appearance of seeing this sort of event come to fruition.

Short-Term Trouble

The 2009 recruiting class has suddenly gone from greatly shoring up a major position of need, with two 4-star quarterback commits, to still needing another body, much less a great player, to even come close to filling the numbers necessary to field a team at the position. Now, Threet and Sheridan are the only options other than Forcier, and if any of the three goes down, regardless of who was the starter, there is already a depth issue arising. The coaching staff will need to find another quarterback in this class, simply in case one or more of the existing QBs gets injured this year. That said, they will likely go with a player with very good running ability and a passing game that needs some work. That way, there is potential for a move to the defensive backfield or slot receiver if the numbers at QB look better in the future.

Might we see Justin Feagin playing a little bit at the QB position (instead of moving to slot, as had been announced) in 2009? It’s not likely, unless the Wolverines can’t pull in another QB/Ath in the class of ’09. Another bummer from the Beaver situation is that Michigan will now go from two quarterbacks enrolling early to one enrolling early, with another hopefully coming in the fall. The preparedness of the group as a whole will undoubtedly be decreased.

Long-Term Ramifications

Without Beaver in the class of 2009, what are the effects on the Wolverines down the road (that is, further in the future than the2010 Inkster QB Devin Gardner 2009 season)? It appears likely that whoever they pick up to fill the other QB slot in the 2009 class will likely move to slot or defensive back down the road, when the numbers get back up to where they should be. That give Michigan much better spacing between classes at the QB position, as there won’t be many in a single class. This means the Wolverines are less likely to graduate all their players at the position in a single year, jeopardizing future years.

That takes us to future recruiting classes. Only having one true QB in the class of 2009 certainly makes Michigan more attractive to signal-callers in the class of 2010, namely one Devin Gardner, an in-state product who has great potential as a run-pass threat in this offensive system. Gardner will likely be rated a high-4 or 5-star prospect, and rated more highly than either Tate Forcier or Shavodrick Beaver (of course, there’s the little issue that he won’t be able to play for Michigan until the 2010 season holding him back from being the current #1 target). Though the Beaver situation is unfortunate, it may help Michigan in the long run, provided the Wolverines aren’t completely screwed short-term.

So What Does It All Mean?

Decommitments are almost never a good thing. They provide ammo for an inexplicably-ruthless local press, and open the door to negative recruiting pitches from other schools. This particular decommitment particularly hurts Michigan, especially in the short term. As an aside, I don’t understand why Beaver had to speak ill of Michigan, considering he didn’t seem to harbor any ill will, he’s just hurting the coaches who have done nothing but good for him. In the long run, Michigan will go on. Might the 2009 season suffer because of a lack of QB depth? Perhaps, but the long-term picture is changed very little, and the Michigan Wolverines will go on without Shavodrick Beaver.

Posted under Football, Recruiting
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5 Comments so far

  1. I know nothing says...

    This kid pitched the program, and even ‘the logo’ under the bus on the way out the door. If you are choosing to go somewhere else, there are classier ways to do so, like, ‘I appreciate the treatment by the coaches, and the opportunity that UM was willing to give be, but………’, or the classless way that he did so. Now maybe Rod said something about his mother or some other horrible thing, but I doubt it. So I guess the classy thing is to wish him the best with his stay in Tulsa, and not to say he is a POS who was afraid of the competition playing big time football at a big time program. Or that he is a whipped momma’s boy that needs to grow a pair. Can’t say that, because that would be classless.

    This is worse than Boren. At least there, we knew that the old man was pissed that Les didn’t get the job, and had an agenda. I actually am over that, still despise the kid, but could care less. This one will stick with me longer.

    But the chance of seeing Tulsa play on national television on a regular basis is unlikely, so I guess I won’t have to think much about it.

    P.S. I sure hope someone got to use those tickets, and see the future star LLP light it up. Weather sucks!!

  2. Jacques Auef says...

    There should be at least one walk on QB coming from the Detroit area. Sam Webb mentioned their names on the radio today.

  3. Bob says...

    RR said something funny earlier in the week. He said they had 20 committs when actually they had 21. I am guessing they knew this was coming…….

  4. Jimbo Coles says...

    Tulsa is no Michigan, but don’t act like it is some POS program. Check out what they’ve done in the last six years and become educated on it. Tulsa was on national TV five times this year by the way.

    Also, this blog says he might have went to Tulsa, where he wouldn’t have big-time expectations. What? Tulsa’s goals this year were to go 14-0 and make a BCS bowl. How are those not big-time expectations? And he will have to compete against two other stuf quarterbacks. GJ Kinne, who transferred from Texas, and Jacob Bower, who was the #1 JUCO QB in the nation last year.

  5. Andrew says...

    Jimbo, take a few deep breaths. Tim is floating some of the rumors from “all corners of the internet.” “This blog” did not state that as a fact, or even that this was his belief.

    Also, nobody said anything about Tulsa being “some POS program.” You might want to brush that enormous chip off your shoulder.


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