The Great Heisman Campaign: Ezeh v. Campbell

Obi Ezeh will enter his redshirt junior year as a two-year returning starter at middle linebacker. He led Michigan in tackles last year, and looks to continue that trend in 2009. Ezeh is a big, big guy who sometimes looks more like a defensive end than a linebacker, but he still has the necessary agility to defend passes in space. The MLB position is key to many defenses, and Michigan’s is no different. If they want to stop opposing offenses, Ezeh will be a key player.

William Campbell will just be a true freshman this fall, but it seems like he’s been a Wolverine almost as long as Ezeh. The 5-star defensive tackle from Detroit’s Cass Tech high school committed to Michigan before his junior year, and though there was a bit of a bumpy ride along the way, he stayed with the Wolverines and enrolled in January. He’s raw, but physically talented, and should contribute along the defensive line as a true freshman.

Obi Ezeh v. William Campbell

  • 4 Obi Ezeh (75%, 422 Votes)
  • 5 William Campbell (25%, 137 Votes)

Total Voters: 559

Loading ... Loading ...

The poll will remain open for 7 days, closing at 5PM next Thursday. Have your heart set on a particular candidate? Try to sway others in the comments. The full bracket is visible here.

Other Open Polls:
Graham v. Banks.
Robinson v. Woolfolk.
Odoms v. Shaw.
Martin v. Koger.
Mathews v. Molk.

Completed 1st Round Poll:
Minor defeats Sheridan, 952-53.
Van Bergen defeats Gibbons, 516-201.
Warren defeats Stokes, 646-113.
Schilling v. Emilien, 487-248.
Mesko defeats Ortmann, 634-85.
Cissoko defeats Toussaint, 460-270.
Forcier defeats Patterson, 773-35.
Stonum defeats Roundtree. appx. 357-268.

Posted under Football, Personnel

The Ballad of William Campbell

A series exploring the commitments (and subsequent decommitments) of Michigan’s lost members of the class of 2009. SPOILER ALERT: This one has a happy ending.

The Commitment
Michigan DT William Campbell as ThorMichigan fans undoubtedly remember the least about William Campbell’s commitment, if only because it took place long, long before any othermembers of the class of 2009 committed to Rich Rodriguez. In fact, he didn’t even commit to Rodriguez at first: he committed to Lloyd Carr in the summer of 2007, after attending Michigan’s summer camp. For some context, that would be like Michigan receiving a verbal commitment for the Class of 2011 sometime this summer. When Rodriguez took the helm in Ann Arbor, Campbell didn’t wait long to reaffirm his commitment to the Wolverines.

The Decommitment
The entire time he was committed to Michigan, Campbell said he would like to take visits to other schools. He insisted he was firmly committed to Michigan, with no chance of anyone prying him away, but that he’d like to travel around the country and see Miami, Baton Rouge, and Los Angeles (Pete Carroll didn’t agree: he refused to host Campbell on an official visit, because he thought it would be impossible to pry Big Will away from Michigan).  When several schools told Campbell that they wouldn’t pay for his trip to their campuses, he decommitted from Michigan, in order to prove that he would at least welcome their recruiting pitches. His decommitment hit Michigan fans particularly hard, because it came within days of Then-5* QB commitment Kevin Newsome’s decommitment.

The Impact
The William Campbell story here takes several twists and turns. Michigan fans shudder every time he takes a visit, internet creeps by the name of “Dandy Don” say it’s 60-40 he’ll end up at LSU, and there is growing uncertainty that he’s as “basically still committed to UM” as he was when he originally decommitted. All this tension builds up to Army All-American week, and upon his arrival, Campbell states that he will no longer consider Michigan. After letting out a stream of expletives, most Michigan fans hope he’s just joking around. In the end, he re-commits to the Wolverines at the Army Game, enrolls early, and lives happily ever after the end. If anything, Campbell’s decommitment gave the Wolverines a better shot at landing a (much-needed) second defensive tackle in the class, though they were unable to close with any.

Will Cambell dancing at the AAAG

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Comments Off on The Ballad of William Campbell

Tags: , ,

Will Campbell Interview

When Will Campbell was being interviewed they had him step off the stage, so he wouldn’t be too tall for the cameras.  Will’s personality, his bubbliness and goofiness remind me a lot of Terrance Taylor.

icon for podpress  Will Campbell Signing Day Interview: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Posted under Personnel, Video

Press Conference Player Info Part 1

At the top of his press conference Rich Rodriguez basically went through the list and talked briefly about each commit. A lot of it was coach-speak and praising the high school coaches, but there was quite a bit of useful information (as opposed to Lloyd Carr press conferences, which were awesome in their own way) on most of the players. One interesting thing in general is that Rodriguez let us know who the lead recruiter was for each player, and for just about everyone from Florida it was Rod Smith. I guess that’s why need a de facto third QB coach. On to the players:

Isaiah Bell

Coach mentioned that the staff is really tight with Youngstown Liberty coach Jeff Whittaker. It’s not that stacked of a school, but seems to produce a bit of talent ona regular.  He said that Bell would start competing as a safety, but if he can but on enough weight, may move up to outside linebacker.

William Campbell

Looking at depth chart would probably tell you this too, but Rodriguez said that Campbell will play defense only and will compete for playing time right at the outset.  Campbell got the instant impact tag from the coach.  Will said himself that his goal is to start his freshman year.  Even though he is a really funny, kind of goofy guy, I get the feeling that he’s super competative; I sure as hell wouldn’t want to be a RB/QB playing against Michigan in two years. Campbell is now doing the full Barwis workout and says the toughest part was the running becuase since the all star game he’s been relaxing and “got fat.”

Vlad Emilien

Coach said he could play either Safety position and will probably be moved around to positions of need.

Tate Forcier

Apparently in the Spring, Jason Forcier was in town and talked with Rodriguez. He basically said he’d recruit Tate for Michigan.  I just can’t help but wonder how different this last year would have been if Forcier hadn’t transferred… Oh well.  Obviously will come and compete right away for time at QB. When a reporter asked Rodriguez if he was confident that he’ll end up with a really good quarterback he responded that “we’ll have a really good competition.”  Tate says he works much more on accuracy and a quick release than arm strength. In some passing drills he claims he hit Mike Cox and Kevin Koger in the back of the head because they weren’t expecting the ball to get there as quickly as it did.  After his interview with the TV crews at the press conference, most reporters were surprised at how well he handled himself.  He really seemed like a pro.

Jeremy Gallon

For some reason, I gor the feeling that Rodriguez is especially excited about Gallon, but I’m probably just projecting my own excitement.  Coach said he’ll compete immediately at slot.  Tim has made this argument that Odoms is a pretty good slot receiver, but the concept of the slot receiver may be more appealing than Odoms himself.  Rodriguez also mentioned that he’ll immediately be in the mix for returning kicks.  Obviously, Coach didn’t talk about grade issues in specifics, but he mentioned that there are about 2-3 recruits who haven’t been approved by the Clearinghouse and that all of those recruits of realistic plans to follow that will allow them to qualify.  Rodriguez didn’t really seem to worried about grade issues.

Check out Varsity Blue throughout the day for the tidbits on the rest of recruits.

Posted under Football, Personnel, Recruiting

Comments Off on Press Conference Player Info Part 1

Tags: , , , , ,

The Will Campbell Commit Dance

Move over Soulja Boy; Big Will Campbell has a new dance for y’all:

Will Campbell busts a move at the AAA game

Hopefully there will be an instructional YouTube video in the near future.  Formerlyanon suggested this, but if anyone with LSUFreak like skills wants to put Will Campbell’s upper body on Warren Sapp’s legs from Dancing with the Stars, you will be my hero forever.

Posted under Media, Personnel

Army All American Game Highlights

Check out Michigan commits Jeremy Gallon, William Campbell, Justin Turner, and Brendan Gibbons, as well as uncommitted prospect Je’Ron Stokes. The East team (on which all the aformentioned individuals played) defeated West 30-17 in San Antonio Saturday.

icon for podpress  Podcast Video: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Posted under Recruiting

Comments Off on Army All American Game Highlights

Tags: , , , , ,

William Campbell Re-Goes Blue

Defensive tackle William Campbell from Detroit Cass Tech has re-committed to the Michigan Wolverines after a tense 4 months of decommitment. The second time around, the 6-5, 330-lber becomes Michigan’s 21st commit in the class of 2009.

Player Notes
Campbell is a physically dominating player who will need to work on his technique to become equally effective on the college level. He has extraordinary size, great brute strength, and surprising quickness. He is a two-way player in high school (even in all-star games), and has both the explosive first step to play tackle in college, and the intelligence and lateral quickness to move primarily to the offensive line. Whichever position he ends up playing, he will have to improve his technique. Campbell is currently in the midst of the Army All-American Bowl, where he has been one of the (few) consistent players.

Recruiting Notes
Campbell originally committed to Lloyd Carr’s Wolverines way back in the summer of 2007, before his junior season. When the coaching staff changed, Campbell reaffirmed his commitment to Rich Rodriguez. Despite that, he maintained all along that he would like to take official visits to other schools, if only to get out and see the world a bit. When other coaches (such as Pete Carroll and Les Miles) told Campbell that he could not visit their campuses if he was firmly committed to Michigan, Big Will rescinded his verbal commitment, and went on trips to Alabama, LSU, and Miami. On his official visit to Ann Arbor, Will rushed the court with Michigan students following basketball’s upset win over the Duke Blue Devils. However, coming into Army All-American week, Campbell told the media that he was eliminating Michigan from consideration. In the end, that was all a smoke screen as Campbell donned the Maize-and-Blue cap in the third quarter of the All-American Bowl.

Campbell plans to enroll early, and has already done so, as was implied by a uniquname being created in the Umich directory in his name a week ago.
Campbell is also a teammate of 2010 CB/slot prospect Dior Mathis (along with the other two Cass Tech commits in the class of 2009). Landing Big Will can only help with Dior.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Recruiting Update 1-2-09

Let’s start with the odd/potentially important news. 2009 OH CB Dale Peterman didn’t seem to be too high on Michigan’s radar. However, there is this random quote from a basketball article:

Only one player, Ursuline’s Dale Peterman, who is expected to announce early next week that he will be attending the University of Michigan to play football, fouled out.

Take that for what it’s worth (very little, if you ask me). To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t been offered.

All-League teams from the San Diego Area include a UM commit and a 2010 prospect:

Eastern League

First-team offense–Wesley Cody (Mira Mesa) Sr.; Tyler Gaffney (Cathedral Catholic) Sr.; Dana Barbaro (St. Augustine) Jr.; Allen Aguilar (St. Augustine) Jr.; Duante Jones (Patrick Henry) Jr.; Robert Forcier (Scripps Ranch) Sr.; Brennan Clay (Scripps Ranch) Jr.

Good for Tate, and I assume having him on the team will help with the recruitment of Clay, if Michigan wants him.

Not to be outdone, FL RB commit Vincent Smith was named his area’s Player of the Year.

Fluff on Michigan’s Ohio commits that are playing in all-star games this weekend. Justin Turner:

Projected as a defensive back once he gets to Ann Arbor, athlete Justin Turner (6-0, 186) of Massillon Washington is representing both Ohio and Michigan in the Army All-American Bowl. He is rated as the No. 25 athlete prospect in the country by ESPN.

Turner, ranked No. 7 in the state by Ohio High, was a two-way standout for Massillon at running back and at defensive back. He rushed for 1,380 yards and 11 touchdowns on 207 carries on offense. Defensively, he had 29 tackles, three interceptions (two for touchdowns) and a forced fumble for the Tigers (6-5).

Turner was a first team All-Ohio selection on defense in Division I and was also a member of the Ohio High/ONN All-Ohio team.

Isaiah Bell:

Headlining the Ohio contingent in the Under Armour game is Youngstown Liberty safety Isaiah Bell on the Black Team. Ohio High ranks Bell (6-2, 200) as the No. 32 prospect in the Class of 2009 while ESPN has Bell as the No. 9 safety in the country and No. 91 player overall.

…and uncommitted prospect Marcus Hall:

Offensive tackle Marcus Hall (6-5, 290) of Cleveland Glenville was a first team All-Ohio selection this season in Division I and an Ohio High/ONN All-Ohio team selection. Hall is rated as the No. 3 player by Ohio High magazine for the Class of 2009 and ESPN has Hall rated as the No. 11 offensive tackle in the country and No. 78 overall.

Hall is the highest rated player nationally from Ohio participating in the three all-star games.

He is considering scholarship offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Miami (Fla.) and Tennessee. While the Army All-American Bowl has evolved into a stage for players to announce their college choices about a month before National Signing Day, Hall does not plan on announcing at the game wanting to take all of his official visits before he decides.

2010 FL RB Eduardo Clements sounds like he may be a Miami of Florida lock:

The 5-foot-10, 185-pound running back with documented 4.45-second speed in the 40-yard dash rushed for about 900 yards this year in the hammer-hard competition of Dade County. His first scholarship offer was from Miami, something he savors.

“I mean, my first scholarship offer was from the Canes,” Clements told SN Today. “I was thinking about how my childhood favorite—that I was so up about—had just offered me a scholarship. It was great that people were looking at me and seeing how hard I work.”

He also sports offers from South Florida, Central Florida, West Virginia, Boston College, Iowa, Oregon, Rutgers, and a few others. He doesn’t plan to commit anywhere until his senior year, but it sounds like Miami certainly has a leg up on the competition.

Removed 2009 MN WR Bryce McNeal, a former commit. He announces his decision (already made) this weekend at the Army All-American Bowl between Oregon, Clemson, Minnesota, and Colorado.

Added 2010 FL OL Torrian Wilson. SoFlaFootball reports he has been hearing from Michigan.

2009 MI QB AJ Westendorp has earned a scholarship offer (info in header). This vastly decreases the likelihood he’ll walk on at Michigan.

It doesn’t sound like FL CB Jayron Hosley will be into the weather when he comes on his official visit:

The Michigan staff better have a hill and a sled for Jayron when he visits Ann Arbor Jan 16. He heard about the snow Michigan received a week or so ago and is not feeling that. “I heard they got a bunch of snow and some people even lost power, I don’t want that [laughing].” Michigan seems to be behind the 8 ball now, but like I always said, sell him early playing time. The early playing time, showing him snow actually can be fun [sledding is fun for all ages], and see where it gets you.

If you want to hear Jim Carty’s take on the William Campbell situation, head over to his site to listen to the audio from his weekly WTKA appearance. For the record, Sam Webb still thinks Michigan gets him.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

2009 Recruiting Update 12-29-08

Since there is so much recruiting info for me to catch up on, I’ll separate the 2009 and 2010 information this time, in order to fit as much stuff in as I can. The board lives here, and can always be found via the left sidebar.

I’ll start with the bombshell-ish info: William Campbell, thought to be heavily leaning to Michigan despite his decommitment, has basically eliminated the Wolverines from contention upon his arrival at the Army All-American game (free Rivals video). I’ll leave him on the board for now, mostly out of hope, rather than any actual fact. From the interview, it sounds like LSU is going to get the hat pulled out by Campbell on Saturday. :(

He won’t be added to the recruiting board, as per VB policy (soon to change for the 2010 board, because it’s tough keeping track of these guys without adding all their info to the board), but LA WR Travante Stallworth, an Auburn commit, is getting some attention from Michigan (info in header). It certainly sounds like he may be swayed, if another school really wants him (info in header again).

SC DE Sam Montgomery is still on the board, though he seems far less enthused about Michigan (we’re near Detroit!) than he did earlier in the recruiting process, and has named LSU his leader. He was involved in the Shrine Bowl (warning: super fluffy), and though the article’s title is “Montgomery stays patient in the recruiting process,” there isn’t one bit of information about recruiting, so it’s just something to read if you want nice quotes about a kid, including his stats:

Montgomery, 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, had 111 tackles including 11 sacks, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery this season while mainly playing linebacker. He played on the varsity team for the past three years.

…and his altruistic side:

“I’m going to keep on battling until I make it to the (NFL), so I can give some of my signing bonus (to the Shriners Hospitals for Children). This will be one of the main organizations I give to.”

Although he took in a South Carolina bowl practice,  they are in the “middle of the pack” with everyone else in his final group, save favorite LSU. Speaking of Montgomery, this article also mentions him, but more interesting are the following two tidbits of information:

DB Dre Kirkpatrick (6-3, 190) of Gadsden, Ala., will visit Alabama, Florida and Texas for sure in January. He’s only planning four visits and for the final trip he’s considering Clemson, Southern California, LSU, Michigan and Auburn… DB Jaron [sic] Hosley  (5-10, 172) of Delray Beach, Fla., will visit Ohio State, Michigan, South Florida and Clemson in January.

After not mentioning Michigan throughout most of the summer, Kirkpatrick has picked up interest in the Wolverines again, it seems. Lord knows we need him. Jayron Hosley‘s Ohio state visit is confirmed by Bucknuts.

JC DE Pernell McPhee was though to be leaning to Michigan following his official visit, and the former Pahokee Blue Devil did not sign with Mississippi State (where he has been softly committed) on JC signing day. However, he has also been to Florida on an official visit recently, and the subheadline “Will Pernell McPhee stay with Mississippi State or will he play for another SEC program?” makes it sound like maybe the Wolverines missed their opportunity with Pernell.

OH OL Henry Conway was at the spring game, but hasn’t really been on the Michigan fan’s radar since. However, he is leaving a date open for an official visit, and will take it if the Wolverines end up offering him (info in header).

UNC CB commit Josh Hunter is still considering a Michigan official, and he’s looking at the January 17th weekend.

LSU insiders don’t exactly seem to be kicking themselves for missing on LA DT commit DeQuinta Jones, but they certainly think he’ll be a good player down the road:

The best defensive lineman in the state that no one ever talks about is Bastrop’s Dequinta Jones (6’3 275), who runs a 4.8 forty and can play the game as well as any in the country. Jones is committed to Michigan, and I predict he will start after one year and play as a true freshman for the Wolverines.

I assume this assertion is not in any way intended to imply that he is not a soft commit (as has been rumored), but rather a compliment of the caliber of player he is. Michigan fans are certainly excited to see DD in maize and Blue.

Next on the list of “I still believe in Michigan” articles of current commits: Fitzgerald Toussaint. It’s not just fluff though. There are three videos in the article, so check it out.

I’ve added LA LB Barkevious Mingo to the board. Sam Webb lets us know he plans to visit January 9th weekend.

And of course, the day I talked only about QBs, I forgot to mention them, but I’ve decided to add A.J. Westendorp and Nader Furrha to the board. Both are likely preferred-walkon candidates, though if the QB recruiting situation becomes extra-dire, one of them might get offered.

Posted under Football, Recruiting

Early Word on Early Enrollees

Allow me to quote myself for a second here:

Snyder also reports that Rodriguez expects 8 early-enrolling recruits from the class of ‘09. Those would be Tate Forcier, Shavodrick Beaver, Vincent Smith, William Campbell if he re-commits, Anthony LaLota, Brandin Hawthorne, Mike Jones, and Vlad Emilien.

OK, not that I’ve been compulsively checking the student directory to see if these guys have enrolled (I have), but the first early returns are in. Umich e-mail addresses have been created thus far for Robert Forcier (Tate), Vincent Smith, Brandin Hawthorne, Vlad Emilien, and… William Campbell? Of course, “William Campbell is not exactly the least common name in the world, but the address was created yesterday, along with all the other ones so far. Even the Michigan Daily found its creation notable.

Of the other three early-enrollment candidates, Shavodrick Beaver will obviously no longer be enrolling at Michigan ever, much less early, and there have not yet been e-mail addresses created for LaLota or Jones.

Early Christmas presents so far? It sounds like it.

Posted under Football, Recruiting