Incoming: Joe Bolden

The 2012 recruiting board lives here.


Rivals: NR LB
Scout: ★★★★ #27 OLB
ESPN: NR ILB
24/7: ★★★★ ILB

Surprise, surprise. You hire the defensive coordinator away from Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens and 3 of your first 7 commitments come from linebackers. Not just run-of-the-mill linebackers either, but some very good ones.

The recruiting sites are a little confused whether Bolden plays inside or outside, but we think he's more of an inside type of LB. He's about 6-3, 220-230ish.

Other offers:
Arizona, BC, Cincy, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Miami (OH), NC, NC State, Northwestern, PSU, USF, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, Vandy and West Virginia. Also had some interest from Sparty, ND and tOSU but no offers.

Hype Video:

Playing Catch Up with the Incomings

FYI, the 2012 recruiting board lives here.

Incoming: Devin Funchess

Rivals: NR TE
Scout: ★★★★ #6 TE
ESPN: NR TE
24/7: ★★★★ TE

6-5, 205. Hails from Farmington Hills, MI (Harrison). One of the two TE's so far in the 2012 class. He goes first in this post because we love the hat.

Other Offers:
Bowling Green, Cincy, Illinois, Indiana, Sparty, Missou, Nebraska, Virginia

Incoming: Royce Jenkins-Stone
Rivals: NR OLB
Scout: ★★★★ #3 MLB
ESPN: NR OLB
24/7: ★★★★ #18 OLB

6-2, 215. Hails from Detroit's Cass Tech High School...same HS as Michigan DT Will Campbell. The sites are a little split with his position with 3 having him a OLB, but Scout listing him as middle. No question, this is probably one of the top recruits so far in the 2012 class.

Other Offers:
Alabama, Arizona St, Cincy, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Miami (FL), Sparty, Missou, Oklahoma, Pitt, Syracuse, Tennessee.

Incoming: AJ Williams

Rivals: NR TE
Scout: ★★★ #15 TE
ESPN: NR TE
24/7: NR TE

6-6, 260. Hails from Cincinnati, OH (Sycamore). Another TE prospect for the 2012 class. He boasts a slightly larger frame than Funchess. That added size should bode well for blocking. And his height will make him an easy target for any type of QB.

Interesting note...Williams was recruited by Indiana's Greg Frey, former offensive line coach at Michigan under the Rodriguez administration. Indiana, which you might have noticed has offered all 3 guys in this post. I personally really like coach Frey, I had a chance to chat with him last year during media day. I think Indiana will be much better off with him as their OL coach.

Other Offers:
Arkansas, Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Sparty, NC State, Vandy, West Virginia.

Liar Liar Pants on Fire!


Via The Columbus Dispatch:
The NCAA alleges that:
Tressel was guilty of ethical misconduct when he knowingly provided false information to the NCAA in certifying that he knew of no potential violations by his players and failed to inform OSU officials.
Ohio State fielded ineligible players last season when starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor and others competed despite Tressel's knowledge of their misconduct. NCAA bylaws call for immediate suspensions.

The NCAA warned that it could treat Ohio State as a repeat offender stemming from the violations involving former quarterback Troy Smith, who took $500 from a booster and former men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien, who gave $6,000 to a recruit.

That finding is the most damning and potentially most damaging because repeat offenders face post-season bans, the entire coaching staff could be suspended and the school could lose scholarships, according to NCAA rules.

"It was reported that Jim Tressel, head football coach, failed to deport himself in accordance with the honesty and integrity normally associated with the conduct and administration of intercollegiate athletics and violated ethical-conduct legislation," the 13-page NCAA document says.

The allegation that Tressel lied to the NCAA is significant. Since 2006, the NCAA has sanctioned 28 schools for violating the ethics bylaw that Tressel did. Of the 13 head coaches involved, only one kept her job. The others either resigned or were fired by their schools.

Since 2004, four universities that are part of the Football Bowl Championship division were penalized by the NCAA for allowing ineligible players to participate in games and for being repeat offenders.

Alabama (football), South Alabama (men's tennis), Arkansas (track) and Southern California (football) each had to vacate all victories in which the ineligible athletes competed. All were placed on probation, but only Southern California was banned from post-season competition.
The article goes on from there to discuss the next step in the process is a August 12th meeting between Tressel, Gee, Gene Smith and the NCAA rules committee where tOSU will be forces to explain itself and respond to this "notice of allegations".

I doubt we'll see tOSU fire/ask to resign Tressel before the season. But I would be shocked if he was the head coach for 2012.

What say you?

Resuming Normal Programming

It's been a slow week around these parts. I've been out of the country in California for the last several days for a friend's wedding and to visit some family. While it's been a nice time away from home, there's been a lot going on while I've been away.

I'm traveling back to Michigan today, so you can expect normal programming to resume soon. We have a lot to talk about, including the spring game, a slew of new recruits and unfortunately the transfer of Cullen Christian.

We'll hit these stories up soon. Thanks for reading and Go Blue!

All There is to Know About the Spring Game


Per UM media relations:
Everything You Need to Know about the 2011 U-M Spring Football Game Presented by PNC Bank
ANN ARBOR – The 2011 Mott Spring Game presented by PNC Bank featuring the University of Michigan football team and its alumni is less than three days away and the program hopes to exceed the estimated crowd of 50,000 fans that watched last year’s final practice at Michigan Stadium. The spring game is free to the public, but the football team and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital have partnered in a fund raiser for the new hospital scheduled to open in Fall 2012.

The gates to Michigan Stadium will open at 9 a.m. EDT. The third annual alumni flag football game begins with introductions at 10 a.m. The 132nd team in school history will take the field for warm-ups at approximately 11:20 am. The final spring practice will start at noon EDT and will be broadcast by the Big Ten Network.

All donations from Saturday’s spring game will go toward the Michigan Football Experience, an interactive play area for patients at the new hospital. The Beam Family of Brighton, Mich., has graciously offered to match dollar-for-dollar every donation that is made at the gates during Saturday’s activities.

Fans can make a donation of choice to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital upon entering the gates of Michigan Stadium. Donations are accepted at any level but fans will receive giveaways for donating at the following levels:
·         $5 donation receives a 5”x7” Fathead Trading Card of either Charles Woodson or Desmond Howard
·         $20 donation receives a Fathead Teammate Block M (roughly 12”x7”)
·         $100 donation receives a Fathead Junior Big House Mural (17”x30”)
·         $250 donation receives four passes to a pre-season scrimmage
·         $500 donation receives 2 pre-game sideline passes (does not include game tickets) to ONE of the following four games: Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, San Diego State or Minnesota.
·         $750 donation receives 2 pre-game sideline passes (does not include game tickets) to the Nebraska game.
·         $1,000 donation receives 4 Mott Club Tickets which includes ($300/individual ticket):
1.       Stadium Parking for Spring Game
2.       Priority Access (front of the line fast-pass) to the Michigan Experience
3.       Priority Access (front of the line fast-pass) to Locker Room Tour and associated experiences Friday or Saturday
4.       On-field experience during the Alumni Flag Football Game (designated bleacher area)
5.       Access to special viewing location for the Spring Game and a VIP Reception in the Regents Guest Area (food will be served) with drop-in from Desmond Howard and other football alums during and/or following the game
For more information regarding the donations to Mott, please contact Stephanie Cloutier at (734) 936-9134 or slclout@umich.edu.

Following is a list of everything you need to know about the annual spring game and activities:

Parking: The lots around Michigan Stadium owned and operated by the University of Michigan are free and open to the public. The U-M Golf Course Lot (Green) will be restricted to golfers only. Pioneer High School will be charging $20 for cars and $50 for RVs on Saturday.

Gates, Restrooms and Concessions: The Michigan Stadium gates will open one hour prior to the alumni game at 9 a.m. All available restrooms on the lower concourse will be open and concessions will be available at several locations throughout the stadium.

Locker Room Tours: Fans can tour and take photos in the Michigan team locker room from 5-7:30 p.m. on Friday (April 15) and from 7-9:30 a.m. on Saturday (April 16). Fans will have access to the stadium field on Friday night during the time devoted to the open locker room but the field will not be accessible Saturday morning because of the spring game activities.

Desmond Howard Returns as Honorary Captain: Michigan’s 1991 Heisman Trophy and current ESPN College Game Day analyst Desmond Howard will be the Honorary Captain for the Mott Spring Game. Howard will be present for the alumni game, spring game and Mott Hospital functions.

Victors Classic: Former U-M football players will be split into the maize and blue teams and will match wits in the third annual alumni flag football game starting at 10 a.m. Over 85 former football players from five different decades will participate.

NFL Players to Attend Spring Game: Some of the current NFL players scheduled to be in attendance are Steve Breaston (Arizona Cardinals), Prescott Burgess (Baltimore Ravens), Braylon Edwards (New York Jets),  James Hall (St. Louis Rams), Mike Hart (Indianapolis Colts), Marlin Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles), Zoltan Mesko (New England Patriots), Ryan Mundy (Pittsburgh Steelers) and LaMarr Woodley (Pittsburgh Steelers).

Hockey Team to Receive Recognition: The Michigan men’s ice hockey team, the 2011 NCAA runner-up, will be honored during one of the breaks at the Mott Spring Game. The Wolverines played for the national title last Saturday (April 9), falling 3-2 in overtime to Minnesota-Duluth. The Wolverines completed the season with a 29-11-4 record this season and won the CCHA regular season championship.

The Michigan Experience: New for the 2011 spring game is an interactive area for kids to participate in football activities. Located on the south concourse of the stadium grounds, there will be football related activities for kids, football character photos and a healthy kids area.

Kick for Cash: The athletic department will randomly select one fan to attempt field goals with the chance to win a PNC gift card up to $300. They will have the opportunity to kick from three different spots, the 10-, 15- or 20-yard lines, with varying prizes for each of the three distances.

Matt Giraud to Sign National Anthem: Former “American Idol” contestant Matt Giraud is going to sing the national anthem for the game. A Kalamazoo, Mich., native, he was born in Dearborn and graduated from Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti (2003).

Radio Broadcast: Ann Arbor’s Sports Talk 1050 AM WTKA will have the exclusive broadcast of Michigan’s spring football weekend activities. Ira Weintraub and Steve Clarke will be broadcasting live from the booth and Sam Webb will be roaming the sidelines during the day’s activities. The station will begin broadcasting Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and carry the former player’s flag football game and the final spring practice in its entirety on its airwaves.

Michigan Rewind: The athletic department’s online football recap show will have a complete highlight package and interviews with Brady Hoke and players available on MGoBlue.com following the conclusion of the final practice.

Inside Michigan Football: The final show of the spring will air on Thursday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. EDT. The 30-minute behind-the-scenes look at Michigan football will recap the spring game and all the activities surrounding the partnership with C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

Big Ten Network Broadcast: Matt Shepard (play-by-play) and former Wolverine offensive lineman Jon Jansen (analyst) will broadcast Michigan’s spring game live on Big Ten Network starting at noon EDT. In addition to the practice game footage, the network will feature post-scrimmage interviews with head coach Brady Hoke and players.

Incoming: Kaleb Ringer

The 2012 recruiting board lives here.


Rivals: NR ILB
Scout: ★★★★, #8 MLB
ESPN: NR ILB

Photo credit and story by Dayton Daily News.

Michigan picked up it's 3rd commitment today of the 2012 class. Brady Hoke went deep into the heart of Ohio for another recruit, this time came home with a commit from 4-star MLB Kaleb Ringer. Some of you may remember his uncle Javon Ringer, a RB for Sparty a few years back.

The recruiting sites disagree, but some have reported offers from Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville Kent State, Miami-OH, Syracuse, Toledo and West Virginia. While there was also reported interest from Sparty, tOSU, Pitt, UCLA and USC.

This is a great pickup for Hoke, Mattison and Michigan. MSU was hoping to play the insider card with his uncle, and tOSU might have or have not offered him, but clearly Ringer's visit to Michigan's junior day was what sealed the deal. Since then, Michigan was the one to beat for him.

This signals to me that the 2012 class is going to be filled with tons of potential. Two good OL commits and now a solid middle linebacker. Shows you that Hoke and company know where the holes are that are going to need to be filled in the next few years.

AND, it's always a great thing when we can snag one of Ohio's best right out from under their nose.

"The Brady 6" Video Clips

Left to right: Drew Henson, Jason Carr, Tom Brady
ESPN is on a bit of a Michigan kick lately. Last month it was the "Fab 5" 30-for-30 special that aired before the start of the NCAA tournament. This month, it's "The Brady 6" that will air tonight at 8PM eastern.

No, this is not a show about the Brady bunch kids. Har-har.

The hour-long feature will focus on the draft day of former Michigan QB Tom Brady when he was the 199th player, and 7th quarterback taken in the 2000 NFL draft.

Here's a couple clips from the show.




There's no way I'm not going to watch this. Set your DVR's.

Posted Without Comment



[Via mgoblog]

Vada Murray Dies


About a year and a half ago, we brought you the story of Vada Murray, former Michigan football stud, Michigan grad, father, and Ann Arbor police officer. He was diagnosed with advanced-stage lung cancer in 2008. He fought the tough fight, inspiring many others to do the same.

Via AnnArbor.com:
Vada Murray, a former Ann Arbor police officer who played football at Michigan, died today after a long battle with advanced-stage lung cancer.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon posted the following on his Twitter account at 6:40 p.m. tonight:
“Sad news-Vada Murray passed away today. UofM Athletics offers its condolences to the family.”

Murray’s battle with lung cancer was first chronicled by the Ann Arbor News in 2008. He was diagnosed at age 41 despite never smoking. His parents never smoked, either.

Murray joined the Ann Arbor Police Department shortly after his playing days as a free safety at Michigan (1988-90) were complete.

Murray is survived by his wife, Sarah, and their three children. Sarah Murray maintained a website with updates on Vada that has received more than 45,000 visits.
Our hearts go out to the Murray family. Fight hard. Stay Tough. Never give up.

Photos (And Video!) From April 5 Practice

Media was invited to practice attend about 20 minutes of practice on Tuesday. Here are some photos and a couple videos. Enjoy!

Nothing terribly interesting going on in these videos, other than Denard dancing and Mike Martin playing outside linebacker (!?) in the 2nd video. I do happen to have a knack for taking video when a turnover occurs. I promise not to take video of real game action if this becomes a trend.





Photos! Full set lives here. Slideshow below.

New Scoreboard Renderings and Info

I was in AA today for the media practice session, and while in town I snapped a few photos of the football scoreboard demolition/construction.


As you can see, not a whole lot going on other than there are currently no scoreboard where there used to be scoreboard.

Right about the same time I was snapping these photos, UM media relations was busy releasing the first renderings and specs of the scoreboards that will replace the old ones at Michigan Stadium, Crisler Arena and Yost Ice Arena.

Here is the full release via UM media relations:
TS Sports/Lighthouse Selected as Scoreboard Provider at the Big House, Crisler and Yost
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced that they have partnered with TS Sports/Lighthouse on a New Scoreboard Replacement Project. TS Sports/Lighthouse will be providing new state-of-the-art video displays and scoring systems at Michigan Stadium, Crisler Arena and Yost Ice Arena.

“We are excited to partner with TS Sports on new, state-of-the-art scoreboards for our three largest venues,” said U-M Athletic Director Dave Brandon. “Our goal is to set a new, higher standard for our fan’s viewing experience and the game day atmosphere we create in our venues. These boards will be an important first step in achieving that goal.”

TS Sports/Lighthouse is a leading LED video board company that specializes in video displays, scoring systems, installation and long-term service. Their turn-key visual solutions are created for a variety of applications including outdoor stadiums, indoor arenas, collegiate facilities and professional venues.

TS Sports/Lighthouse recently installed video display systems at American Airlines Center, home of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Dallas Stars. The Bradley Center home of the Milwaukee Bucks also recently chose TS Sports for their system. On the college front, TS Sports has recently completed projects at the University of Oregon, University of Connecticut and Ohio State University.
The demolition and removal of the existing video boards began in March. Over the next several months, TS Sports will install new state-of-the-art LED screens in both end zones of Michigan Stadium, which will be 40 percent larger than the previous system. The new video screens will be 47’ (h) x 85’ (w) and be located in the end zones. The Big House upgrade will be completed in August prior to the 2011 season.

“TS Sports is very excited about partnering with the University of Michigan on their LED video display upgrades,” said President and CEO Garry Waldrum. “Michigan Stadium features our new Impact 16 video product from Lighthouse Technologies. The Impact 16 will provide Wolverine fans with the latest technology and clearest video image in college sports.”

The new video display at the “Big House” features:
* Two (2) Lighthouse Impact 16 video displays measuring over 4000 square feet each
Ø Resolution: 900 x 1632
* New Custom Scoring System
* New Custom System Enclosure
Ø Size: 62’ (h) x 108’ (w)

In conjunction with Phase I of the Crisler Arena renovations, TS Sports will replace the current center-hung scoreboard which was installed in 1998.

“The new video system at Crisler Arena is a basketball fan’s dream,” said Vice President of Sales Matt Ritter. “The system will feature 14 LED video displays from Lighthouse Technology tracking all major events throughout the game – instant replays, fan shots, hustle stats, animations, graphics and much more.”

The new center-hung at Crisler Arena will consist of 14 LED video displays:
* Four (4) 12’ x 16.8’ Pi10 10mm main displays
* Four (4) 6.28’ x 16.8’ Pi10 10mm scoring displays
* Four (4) 6.28’ x 6.3’ Pi10 10mm advertising displays
* One (1) 2.1’ x 81.9’ Pi10 10mm top video ring display
* One (1) 2.1’ x 44.1’ Pi10 10mm bottom video ring display

For the first time in its history Yost Ice Arena will get a facelift that will include LED video displays for the arena.

The new center-hung at Yost Ice Arena will consist of 9 LED video displays:

* Four (4) 13’ x 16.8’ Pi10 main displays
* Four (4) 12.5’ x 6’6’ F16 corner displays
* One (1) 2.5’ x 75.59’ F16 video ring display

About TS Sports:
TS Sports, based in Dallas, Texas, is an electronic video board supplier that provides state-of-the art light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Founded in 1997, TS Sport’s innovative video boards are of the highest quality in the industry, and prides itself on being a unique, “one-stop shop” for its customers. In addition to LED video boards, TS Sports also installs and services scoreboards, advertising panels, electronic message centers, sound systems, control rooms, and advertising and naming rights. The company works with clients on projects from start to finish beginning with the design stage, then production and finally installation. Post installation, TS Sports offers the best service and response times in the industry. For more information about TS Sports, please visit www.ts-sports.com.
As you can see, video...BIG video, is going to play a large part in all 3 venues once these puppies are installed. I was really hoping the Big House boards would be mostly a video board...and UM did not disappoint.

Spring Scrimmage Highlights, Hoke's Coaches Clinic

The Michigan football team scrimmaged this past Saturday. There was quite an impressive array of recruits on hand to witness said scrimmage. [HT: MnB] Here are some video highlights courtesy of mgobluevideo.

What does generic classical/rap music sound like put to football highlights? Like this.



Michigan will also be holding their second open practice to the media tomorrow afternoon. We will be there snapping more photos and videos. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, later this week, Brady Hoke will host his first Spring Coaches Clinic. Press release via UM media relations:
Hoke to Host Spring Football Coaches Clinic This Week
ANN ARBOR -- Head coach Brady Hoke will host his initial clinic as a member of the Wolverine staff, conducting the annual Michigan Football Coaches Clinic Thursday, April 7, through Saturday, April 9.

"We have a great lineup of coaches speaking at the clinic, both from our staff and from the high school ranks," said Hoke. "I hope that many of the coaches from the state of Michigan and others from the Midwest will join us for the clinic this weekend."

The three-day clinic includes three days of practice starting Thursday (April 7). The clinic will take place in Schembechler Hall on Thursday and the Indoor Track Building on Friday and Saturday. Practice locations will be dictated by weather conditions each day.

On Friday, members of the Michigan coaching staff will speak and run field demonstrations, and coach Hoke will provide the featured talk that evening. Aaron Wellman will conduct a strength and conditioning overview prior to practice on Saturday.

The clinic costs $50 per coach and may be paid online or by cash or check at registration. To sign up and make payment for the coaches clinic go to MichiganCoachesClinic.com. A complete schedule with speakers is available on the site.

For more information on the clinic, email the football program at goblue@michigancoachesclinic.com.

Brian Kelly: ND and UM to Wear Throwback Jerseys for Night Game

Is this an April Fool's gag? I hope not. Via Angelique Chengelis [The Detroit News]:
Apparently, the Wolverines and their opponent, Notre Dame, will wear throwback uniforms during the Sept. 10 game, which kicks off at 8 p.m.

So says Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, according to a Chicago Tribune story that appeared on its website Friday.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon, reached by The Detroit News via email on Friday, was not ready to confirm details about the Wolverines' special night-game uniform.

"We have been working on this (and are) pretty excited about it," Brandon said. "(There's) nothing finalized to show at the present time."

Kelly, however, offered more tidbits on Michigan's uniform.

"We're going to have throwback uniforms. As they will," Kelly told the Tribune. "I can tell you what theirs look like — they have a block 'M' on them, and a number, and a number on their helmet. How's that? The adidas people at Michigan are going to be (ticked) at me." 
I applaud this. I think a match up between two historical powerhouses can only be amplified by wearing throwbacks...at night no less (!). I'm not a fan of the Nike throwbacks that tOSU and other "Nike Schools" wear, so hopefully the Adidas version of a throwback a little less gaudy.

Also being reported by AA.com as well:
“It’s something that we have been working on with our partner, Adidas,” Michigan football spokesman Dave Ablauf said in an email Friday. “We are excited about it and will have something to unveil later this summer.”
More details as soon as they become available.