A quick jaunt over to Eleven Warriors this afternoon, I was reading up on OSU's stellar 09 recruiting class. While sipping my afternoon caffine beverage, I was trying to do the quick math on how many alumni pockets Tressell has had to delve into to nab so many verbals so soon.
In June alone, 5 verbals for 2009...one of which is Buckeye legacy himself Duron Carter, Cris Carter's son. Upon hearing the news his son picked the Buckeye's, here's what Cris had to say...
“This is kind of surreal. This morning I went for a walk and thought to myself that I can’t believe how great this is. I feel like I died and went to heaven because I get to go through the Buckeye experience twice.”Heaven.
Anyway, moving on.
The Big Ten Bloggers have posted their picks for 1st team Big Ten offense and defense. I did not participate. I am simply not prepared to pick the all-Big Ten players yet. But it surely interesting to see how my fellow bloggers have voted. Head on over to LTP to see the rundown. Here's a hint...its full of Buckeyes. Although Terrance Taylor made the cut at DT.
Michael Shaw is Fast!
And now we'll get to watch him scorch defenses in 09 with his breakaway speed. Apparently, this is the first recruit that RR has stolen away from the Ohio recruit gravitational pull that is Tressell's vest. According to Eleven Warriors, RR is 1-7 in head-to-head recruiting bouts with Tressell. Yes, crazy Buckeye fans even keep track of that!
An article in the Free Press this morning caught my eye. Sporting News columnist Spencer Hall had a great article detailing the speed of players from conference to conference, and you might be surprised how he rates the Big Ten. He also has some encouraging words for RR and the new style of speed at Michigan.
Those two words were never uttered under the previous Michigan administration. And "speed-obsessed"??? HA! But I might have to take a quick shot at Spenc. He might want to consider Michigan's superiority of lineman talent both in the college ranks and in the NFL. Pizzas don't do much for speed, but take a look at Hutchinson, Payne, Backus, Baas, Jansen and Long. Not a bad pedigree.
The high-profile losses to perceived speed teams and the implementation of the spread offense across college football, though, changed the demand curve for athletes and placed a premium on speed at every position. In 10 years, we could be talking about the Big Ten's dominance and superior strength training programs, but for the moment the pendulum has swung toward speed and explosiveness over brute strength.
Bringing us to the future, a.k.a. the West Virginia/Michigan training program. I mentioned Michigan's superb record against the SEC above; now consider how well Michigan did using training techniques from the 1970s, as it did until this year's complete revamping of the training program.
(Fun story that's been floating around college football circles: Under the former management, Michigan linemen, in order to gain weight, were allegedly told to "eat a whole pizza" at night. I'm amazed they didn't flounder like sick race horses on Saturdays. Also: no squats. The most basic fundamental move in weight lifting simply did not exist in their machine-dominated training program.)
Michigan is now busy reprogramming its players to play in the 21st century, demanding speed at every position (yes, even for pizza-mobbing offensive linemen) and totally rebuilding their talent development system.
Two thoughts crossed my mind as we finished drills: One, that not vomiting on day one represented a substantial accomplishment for a squishy blogger; and two, that if Michigan did as well as it did with old training methods, the possibilities for the Wolverines under a newer, speed-obsessed regime remain both frightening and limitless.
I'm sure Boren and daddy Boren will be scouting the pizza joints on High street this summer.
Well, that's all I have for now. More on those pesky Buckeyes on the way!
Update - Quick correction
Comment from Jason...
"Yes, Shaw is lightning fast, but OSU didn't offer him. The one that Rodriguez won over Tressel so far for the '09 class is Justin Turner.No Jason, not at all. I think the passage I read from Eleven Warriors led me to think it was Shaw. Thanks for the shout out.
Not that we're obsessively tracking this stuff or anything..."