Adidas Must be Stopped

My initial reaction...

Pretty colors! Fun stripey shorts! Sleeves!!!

Seriously. What's going on here?
It appears that Adidas is not quite finished ruining basketball uniforms across the nation: today the company unveiled its new "adizero uniform system," which six college teams—Cincinnati, Kansas, Baylor, UCLA, Louisville, and the Notre Dame Doublemints—will wear for conference play in March.

Baylor, Louisville, and UCLA will wear jerseys that have sleeves, for some reason. All six of the teams will be wearing cutoff Zubaz pants, for some reason.
Thankfully, even Michigan has their limits. reported Wednesday that adidas will be rolling out college versions of its short-sleeve basketball uniforms for the NCAA tournament.

Michigan, however, won't be wearing them.

"Officials at Michigan and N.C. State, two other adidas schools in position to make the NCAA tournament, said they will not wear short-sleeve jerseys," the site reported.
I think the combination of Outback Bowl uniforms and then the all-maize basketball unis against Ohio State have officially, finally, put me over the edge. Adidas needs to stop this. And if they don't stop it, then Michigan (@davebrandonad) needs to simply stop giving in for the sake of just trying to appear "hip".

You know what's hip? Winning. Tradition. Greatness.

Not this...
Can we please declare the end to this ridiculous alternate uniform era? It's clearly driven purely on merch sales, nothing more. Do the players really love them that much? Fans? Seems to me the public/media/blogger backlash is hardly worth the revenue from Adidas.

That's my $0.02.

Denard Calls in to the Dan Patrick Show [Video]

Pregame, 2011 Western Michigan game.
Shoelace called into the Dan Patrick Show this morning to talk about the combine, his time at Michigan, and his hopes for his future in the NFL. He also negotiates a deal to trade his autographed shoe from the combine in exchange for Dan's vote for the cover for the 2014 NCAA Football video game.

Take note Buckeyes: Only trade autographed swag once you're done playing in college.

Good stuff right there. This interview illustrates how far Denard has come. He's clearly still not entirely comfortable with being a rockstar, but he's found a way to live with it and embrace it. Two years way would he have stuck it to Patrick like that.

Brady Hoke Statement on Montgomery's Departure

File photo of Montgomery from the 2012 Air Force game.
 Via UM media relations:
"We appreciate the work Jerry did in his two seasons here with the defensive ends and continuing to help build the foundation on our defensive line. We wish Jerry, Natalie and their entire family nothing but the best.

"You always hate to lose members of your staff, but you know going in that at a program like Michigan, other schools and NFL teams are going to come after them. However, I am confident that we will name a new coach who fits in very well with our staff soon."
So there you go. Everything you need to know, nothing you don't. Interesting that Brady mentioned NFL teams coming after Michigan coaches. We'll never get an explanation on that one, but curious that he would say that. It could just be that he was saying that as a general comment. Or, if there was actually recent interest by a staffer with an NFL team, or vice versa? We may never know.

Related content:
Defensive Line Coach Jerry Montgomery Leaves for Oklahoma

Biggest Non-Michigan B1G Games of 2013, Part Two

Is Northwestern legit? October will tell us. File photo.
In the first installment of this 3-part series last week, we took a look at the September (weeks 1-5) slate of the non-Michigan Big Ten season. For the most part, it was comprised almost entirely of non-conference games.

Outside of Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue all playing Notre Dame, there's really no enticing matchups to get that excited about. Nebraska-UCLA is probably the only other big-name matchup the Big Ten has going for it...which is sad.

But then, October strikes, and it's all conference matchups. The meat of the Big Ten schedule is always in November, and that's certainly the case for 2013. But October, weeks 6-9, should muddy up the waters of the B1G standings quite nicely going into the last 5 weeks of the regular season.

Week 6
October 5
Minnesota @ Michigan
Michigan State @ Iowa
Illinois @ Nebraska
Indiana @ Penn State
Ohio State @ Northwestern

My game of the week is Ohio State @ Northwestern. Sure, the league schedule is a little light this week, but that's when dramatic upsets can sneak up on you. The Buckeyes will be coming off a big game against Wisconsin at home the week prior, so it's entirely likely that Fitz and the Wildcats could give the Urbanites a game in Evanston. Ryan Field is not an intimidating venue for visiting teams, but neither is Ross-Ade Stadium in West Lafayette, but that doesn't stop Ohio State from having trouble there.

This game will really boil down to whether Northwestern can move the ball effectively against a very stout Ohio State defense. I have no doubt that they can at least make this a game, but it will take some cleaver play-calling a lot of luck to pull off this upset.

Week 7
October 12
Michigan @ Penn State
Indiana @ Michigan State
Nebraska @ Purdue
Northwestern @ Wisconsin

Only four games on the B1G slate this week, and they're all cross-over games. Clearly, Michigan @ Penn State will get top league billing, but we're not here to discuss that. This is a preview of the biggest non-Michigan games of the year. So this week we're going with Northwestern @ Wisconsin.

For no other reason that I'm just intrigued by both of these teams for 2013, Northwestern @ Wisconsin could provide a very interesting look at both teams. Two teams with vastly different offensive attacks.

First, I want to see how NU travels into a hostile environment and performs. And second, how Wisconsin reacts to an upstart opponent playing at noon on the Big Ten Network. In the past, with Bielema, I would've said this one would be over by halftime. But with the question marks for Wisconsin going into this season, this game could be a wild one.

Week 8
October 19
Indiana @ Michigan
Iowa @ Ohio State
Purdue @ Michigan State
Minnesota @ Northwestern
Wisconsin @ Illinois

Still plenty of inter-division goodness going on this week.

I'll be interested to see Purdue @ Michigan State. Both schools will be picked to finish in the middle of the pack for 2013, and I won't argue that. But this game is intriguing because both teams are in rebuilding mode. Michigan State has a few major holes to fill, and Purdue likewise but with a new coaching staff. I fully expect Sparty to win this game, but given the rest of the league schedule this week, I had to pick one, so this was it.

Week 9
October 26
Northwestern @ Iowa
Michigan State @ Illinois
Nebraska @ Minnesota
Penn State @ Ohio State

Michigan is off this week so they'll have two weeks to prepare for a trip to East Lansing on November 2nd.

Obviously, Penn State at Ohio State is the Big Ten game of the week. Penn State's 23-35 loss in Happy Valley last year was a tough one, and things won't get any easier going into the snake pit this season. Likely a primetime game, this should be a big win for the Buckeyes. Penn State played with tremendous passion and resilience last year, but the lack of scholarships and the post-season ban will slowly start to take it's toll on the Nittany Lions.

In the past, I'd say this could be the game of the year, but I think those days are over for a while. When it comes to Big Ten stock, Penn State is a sell. Ohio State is the class of the league, in the media's eyes anyway, so games like this should only expose that notion even more. Sure, Penn State has a shot, of course, but it's not as good as it used to be.

Coming up, part 3 of this series where we dive head first into the November schedule, where all hell breaks loose.

Denard Runs a 4.43 40-Yard Dash at NFL Combine

2012 media day.
The NFL combine can be a bit boring at times. But Michigan fans who tuned in were treated to Denard Robinson running the 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds (4.34 initially, then later officially corrected). Sure, Shoelace has put on about a few pounds of muscle since arriving in Ann Arbor in 2009. But clearly, he's still got it.

He was also impressive in other receiver drills. I'd say he's more then worth the risk.

Defensive Line Coach Jerry Montgomery Leaves for Oklahoma

File photo.
 Initially reported by Sam Webb earlier today and confirmed from multiple sources:
Sources have confirmed to GoBlueWolverine that Jerry Montgomery accepted the vacant defensive line coaching post at Oklahoma on Friday.  A formal announcement is expected to come Monday.

Contract details weren’t available at press time, but sources indicate that Michigan offered a competitive compensation package to Montgomery, but ultimately he felt the opportunity at Oklahoma was one he couldn’t pass up.

Every assistant coach is important, but this one hurts. Montgomery played a vital role in Michigan's defensive turnaround the last two seasons as the defensive line coach. He was also a highly valued recruiter for the staff. We'll see how much this move impacts the existing defensive staff.

Best of luck to coach Montgomery in Norman.

Biggest Non-Michigan Big Ten Games of 2013, Part One

This off-season is dragging. It's only mid-February. Let's talk football!

September in the B1G: Notre Dame and a bunch of directional schools. Image Source.
In a effort to at least appear to care about what the rest of the league is doing this season, we present you the biggest games of each week of 2013...other than the one Michigan is playing in.

Believe it or not, there are other games that go on each week that actually have a pretty big impact on the conference as a whole other than the one the Maize & Blue are in. This post will address which of those games will be the most important. Plus it's just fun to look ahead, too.

To keep it brief, we'll break this up into a 3-part series. This post will look at the months of August and September. The first 4 weeks of the season are traditionally non-conference games for most of the league. This year's first league game is September 21st with Purdue @ Wisconsin.

Week 1
August 31 • Michigan's opponent: Central Michigan

Week 1 is a snoozer for the Big Ten. It just is. There's no Michigan-Alabama (thankfully) and plenty of directional mid-majors to go around. My pick for the game of the week is actually split. I like UNLV at Minnesota on the Thursday night (8/29) leading into the weekend, and also Syracuse at Penn State at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.

UNLV @ Minnesota
The Gophers are coming off a 6-7 season which was a small but measurable improvement from a 3-9 2011. I mean they did make it to a bowl game, which is more than Ohio State can say...amiright?! ZING! Head coach Jerry Kill needs big wins, especially in the early non-conference schedule if he hopes to continue an upward trend. Last year's season opener against UNLV at Sam Boyd Stadium was a 3-overtime 30-27 victory for the Gophers which helped lead them to a 4-0 record to start the season.

Syracuse vs Penn State (East Rutherford, NJ)
Well, since it's a neutral venue, I suppose that's interesting. Syracuse is hardly the best gauge for where Penn State is at, but given who the rest of the Big Ten is playing, this game is suddenly interesting. I'm curious to see the next step for Bill O'Brien and Penn State after a surprisingly resilient 8-4 season in 2012. Lame duck Penn State could play spoiler for Ohio State or Wisconsin in the Leaders division, and a hot start to the season will help them achieve that.

Week 2
September 7 • Michigan's opponent: Notre Dame

Obviously Notre Dame at Michigan in primetime gets top billing this week. But a nice part of playing at night is you get to catch the noon and afternoon games unimpeded. And one of them stands out to me.

San Diego State @ Ohio State
For as bad as Ohio State's non-conference schedule looks on paper, I think this game could be a good one. The Buckeyes could be looking ahead to the road trip to Cal in week 3, and San Diego State is no slouch. Brady Hoke's former squad played Michigan tough in 2011, and they also notched big wins against #14 Boise State and Air Force in November last year. Ohio State can be a little slow out of the gate in early-season games. Maybe, just maybe the Aztecs can give them a game.

Week 3
September 14 • Michigan's opponent: Akron

A few really interesting games this week. Wisconsin at Arizona State, Cincinnati at Illinois, Notre Dame at Purdue. But the game of the week for me is...

UCLA @ Nebraska
It's the return trip to Lincoln from last year's game in Pasadena in week 2. UCLA won that game 36-30 in a back and forth primetime (EST) battle. The 2013 contest could also be a primetime game, and it would surely be a good one to tune into. Big Ten teams rarely travel well out west, so it's always nice to have a Pac-12 team in your house for a change. If only it were November and about 35 degrees.

Week 4
September 21 • Michigan's opponent: @UConn

This one is easy.

Michigan State @ Notre Dame
Sparty is Notre Dame's 3rd Big Ten opponent in as many weeks, but the first one at home. This will be the first really tough test for Sparty in 2013. We'll see how much they miss RB Le'Veon Bell, TE Dion Sims and the big names from the 2012 defense that left for the NFL. They'll be coming off a relatively light-weight three week slate of Western Michigan, USF and Youngstown State. So how Michigan State performs in South Bend should be a good indicator for the rest of the season. The Irish always have a way of exposing your biggest weaknesses. Outside of Michigan on November 2nd, this is Sparty's biggest test.

Week 5
September 28 • Michigan's opponent: Bye

Half of the Big Ten is off this week, so pickin's are a little slim. But that's okay, because the biggest game in the Leaders division all year takes place right out of the gate.

Wisconsin @ Ohio State
Immediately, the winner of this game has a huge leg up on the division race. We're not exactly sure what Wisconsin is going to look like in 2013 sans Bielema. But we are pretty sure what Ohio State is going to look like, and from what I can tell, this is probably the biggest hurdle they'll have on their way to Indy. Oh, don't get me wrong...we're all Badgers on this day, but it's going to take their best shot to knock off the Urban Express.

Up next, we'll take a look at the always exciting October slate of league games.

New Site Design and Operation

So we just completely overhauled the design and operation of this site. It's been something I've been working on for a while now, but it just went live about an hour ago. Pretty much everything on the site works the way it should...hopefully.

Cool new stuff? Well, almost everything. Better navigation was really what drove this redesign. That should be a lot easier. Things are laid out much better than before. Social media/RSS links are on the top right. The site navbar is top left with a second navbar for specialized links below the MBN banner. We'll be adding to that soon.

For the longest time we've used a heavily modified version of one of Blogger's templates. Blogger is Google's blogging platform. That was fine and all, but we wanted more. We're still with Blogger, but we went rogue with a heavily modified 3rd-party template. Hopefully a black SUV doesn't show up in my driveway.

I'll be adding more functionality as we figure out what all these new buttons do. Until then, if you notice something not working the way it should, shoot me a tweet at @maizebluenation and I'll fix it.

Thanks for your patience and Go Blue!

The B1G 2

There was a time when Big Ten football was simply just two powerhouses and the rest of the pack. From 1967 to 1983, either Michigan or Ohio State won the Big Ten title either outright or at least a share.
The 10 year war ('69-'78) between Bo and Woody was an epic battle between two of the sport's most iconic legends. That scenario will never be repeated. For as good as Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer are, their paths aren't nearly as intertwined as Bo and Woody's were. But a similar feeling is beginning to emerge as their respective schools are arming for an all-out war, that seemingly no other Big Ten school is able to assuage.

It all starts with recruiting
It would seem that a clear separation between Ohio State and Michigan and the rest of the conference is at hand. Just look at recruiting. Brady Hoke has revitalized the talent pool that Michigan can choose from, bringing in some of the most talented prospects the school has seen in decades. And Urban Meyer has turned Ohio State quickly back into a destination for top-tier talent from all over the country. No one else is the league is even on the same playing field as these two schools when it comes to luring big-time talent.

Now, of course I don't mean to say that no other Big Ten school has a shot. Crazy things happen all the time, injuries, bad-bounces, etc. But if anyone outside the league is looking at the Big Ten and wondering who's the big dogs, who else could it be? The Big Ten has taken it's lumps nationally in recent years, and for the bulk of the league, most schools are trending downwards.

With Michigan State losing the bulk of their playmakers to the NFL, Beilema leaving for Arkansas and leaving many question marks at Wisconsin, and Penn State on a post-season ban for the next 4 years, who's left? Nebraska is hanging in there, but lags well behind in almost all the recruiting rankings for 2013. Purdue is rebuilding with a new coach, Northwestern is a viable option, but again, like most of the B1G, the incoming talent is just not there.

Owning the state of Michigan
Brady Hoke has surpassed his counterpart in East Lansing on the recruiting trail. Michigan notched the #5 recruiting class in the country according to Michigan State came in at 39th, 5 spots behind 2014 Big Ten newcomer Maryland. In 2012, Michigan was ranked 7th overall, Ohio State 4th...and Michigan State 41st.

A clear division within the state of Michigan alone is enough to turn the tide in the Wolverine's favor for years to come. Michigan has become a hotbed for recruiting nationally. Urban Meyer has been spotted north of the border a few times, trying to lure talent south to the snake pit. Now even I, true blue through and through, can see the value of having Urban looking over the fence into your back yard. We all know Brady Hoke has done likewise in Ohio.

Divisional alignment
2013 is going to be an interesting year for a few reasons. First, it could be the last year that Michigan and Ohio State are in separate divisions. Once Maryland and Rutgers come on board, and likely 2 more schools after that, the divisions will be realigned and renamed. There are a million scenarios out there, but the most logical ones place the two storied rivals in the same division. Competitive balance was the name of the game with Leaders and Legends the first time around. Now, it sounds like geographical balance will drive the divisions, like east-west or inner-outer. Either one puts Michigan and Ohio State in the same division.

My take? Meh. As long as we still play every year, I'm indifferent. But I hope that doesn't mean Michigan State could skate out of the same division somehow. Then you have a protected crossover game for both schools and that just muddies the waters.

Secondly, it may be the last time The Game falls on the last Saturday in November. This one I'm a little touchy on. With only a small handful of exceptions, Michigan and Ohio State have been playing the final game of the year for as long as I can least since the war. I'm not saying I'm not going to balk at this, but I'm not saying it know what I'm saying?

In this new and scary world of the rapidly expanding Big Ten, one fact remains a constant...anyone who wins the league other than Michigan or Ohio State will seem illegitimate. Funny how neither school has played in a Big Ten title game yet. Only two have been played so far, but still, it's something. That window of opportunity is closing for the rest of the league. And with Maryland and Rutgers...and two other yet-to-be-named schools coming on board soon, the middle of the pack in the league (Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, Michigan State, Iowa), life is about to get that much more tougher.

The B1G 2 are preparing for war. And it's on.

2013 Look Ahead: The Defense

DT Ondre Pipkins could be set for a big year in 2013.
Previously, we looked at the offense. We also looked at the schedule. Now it's the defense's turn.

Michigan loses 5 official starters on defense...Will Campbell, Craig Roh, Jordan Kovacs, JT Floyd and Kenny Demens. On paper, this seems like a lot. But if you look at what's coming up, your fears will be eased. Much eased.

2012 was a moderately successful season for the Michigan defense, but a step back statistically from 2011. Given the 2012 schedule, can anyone honestly be surprised. Nationally, Michigan ranked 13th in total defense, 52nd in rushing defense, 5th in passing defense and 19th in scoring defense. Good numbers, but far from what it's going to take to win the Big Ten and do the things that Michigan coaches and players want to do.

Team 134 can do better, and they will do better. Hit the jump to find out how.

A Proportional Response

Many of you read my Urban Meyer post from earlier today. I can tell because I got a lot of feedback in a very short amount of time. In writing that post, I didn't realize that some might not take very kindly to it, not fully interpreting what I considered obvious sarcasm. I typically don't write something intended to illicit a response. So when I got one, I was a little taken back.

To quell the fears of some of, this is not becoming an Ohio State blog.

Allow me to explain.

Jim Tressel reached God-like status in Ohio through years of dominating Michigan, but Urban Meyer's role as savior was anointed immediately. And I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but the hopes and dreams of every Big Ten school have suddenly been pinned to the fate of Urban Meyer and Ohio State.

And that's where I have a big problem.

The media loves them some Ohio State and especially some extra helpings of Urban Meyer. For whatever reason they just lap it up. And let's not kid ourselves, Urban has no problem finding the camera either. As Michigan fans, we see through the hyperbole.

Urban may be a very good football coach and fabulous recruiter, but I don't think he should be the face of Big Ten football. I can respect his 12-0 season and his 26-21 victory over us back in November. I'll give him his due (we handed them that game, btw). But when every coach in the league is not measuring up to the standard that Urban is somehow setting, then that's where I think there's a problem. Thus, I write rant posts like the one I did earlier today. Urban is a good football coach, but not the standard for the league. Let time measure the coach, not the hype.

We Are All Witnesses
There's something brewing down in Columbus. Something I tried to tell myself that at first was ominous, unsettling. At first, I didn't like it, I hated it. I went against everything I thought to be right. I resisted my primal urges and incessantly denied myself the truth. But now that the first off-season of the Urban Meyer era at Ohio State is upon us, I've had a chance to reflect and truly understand, and accept the truth.

The truth is that I was wrong. Dead wrong.

Something has taken hold. Something that, years from now, we'll tell our children and our grandchildren about. Take notice my Maize & Blue brethren, we're witnessing history in the making. We are all witnesses.

We are so lucky to have Urban Meyer in the Big Ten. We're so lucky to have such a pillar of the college coaching fraternity to look to for guidance and moral set the proverbial bar higher for the rest of the league. Honestly, I don't know how Brady Hoke and his fellow B1G coaches are going to be able to keep up.

Since he took the coaching job at Ohio State, the most venerable coaching position in the country, he has raised the level of coaching and competition within the conference. But it's much bigger than that. No other coach in the league has a more realistic shot at salvaging the long and storied reputation of the Big Ten than Urban Meyer. No other coach can recruit like Urban. No other coach can beat the SEC like Urban. Urban owns Brady Hoke, with his 1-0 record, the history books are but written.

Urban went 12-0 in his first season, but was denied a shot at a Big Ten title and national championship through no fault of his own...a decision that the NCAA surely regrets. In denying Ohio State a shot at a perfect season complete with championship rings and everything, college football fans as a whole were denied the chance to witness greatness. Instead, we got another ho-hum B1G championship game and another predictable national champion from the SEC.

Save us Urban Meyer.

Save us from what we've for so long considered acceptable. We're not going to beat the SEC as a whole, we need one man, one coach to stand out and lead us. Lead us to glory Urban. We are all witnesses.

Its been years since we could claim that the Big Ten as a great conference. With Penn State spinning their wheels with the Sandusky fallout/Paterno family and the NCAA and the legal debacle that is ensuing, mediocre coaches like Bret Bielema bolting his dream job at Wisconsin for Arkansas, and Michigan State losing all of their talented players to graduation or the NFL draft, what's left?

Michigan? Us?

Don't get me wrong, I love Michigan and I love Brady Hoke, but he's no Urban Meyer...the Recruiter, the Offensive Prognosticator, the Visionary, the Leader.

Urban brings unparalleled success and championship rings to Columbus. He gave the world Tebow. Brady Hoke brought a sub .500 record with him to Michigan. That's it. Hoke wears short-sleeves in the cold. He's gruff. He says "Well" a lot. That's cute and all, but it's no Tim Tebow. The closest thing Michigan has is Greg Mattision, who was Urban's DC at Florida for a couple seasons. At least we have THAT!

Ohio State isn't scared of Brady Hoke, short-sleeves and all, or Michigan. Not with their savior, Urban Meyer at the helm. He's as close to a 'can't miss' as there is. For how much Jim Tressel owned Michigan, that was simply just a taste of what the Urban Meyer era will be like. It's not a question of if he'll dominate Michigan, it's for how long.

It's the Urban Meyer era at Ohio State that will define this conference, and maybe college football as a whole for as long as Urban chooses grace us with his presence. The Michigan's of the world can only hope for second place, and take notes along the way.

I don't want anyone to be confused with my previous thoughts and feelings about Urban Meyer, so here's my confession...

Urban, I'm truly sorry for doubting you. I apologize for those things I said about your health and the way you left Florida for ESPN. Surely, it was wrong of me to assume those things. I am aware now. I understand now. We are all witnesses. It's now the Big 1 and the Little 11. I simply just hope that when it's all said and done, your statue outside of Ohio Stadium honestly and accurately depicts and pays homage to your contributions to not only Ohio State, but college football as a whole.

We are all witnesses.

Update: Does this post confuse or upset you? Read this.

Recruitaholics: Signing Day Press Conference

Michigan had a smooth, easy time filling the empty spaces.  Image via here
This had to be the most boring, yet wonderful day of the year.  Michigan got all 21 letters of intent (6 already enrolled) before it was lunch-time.  Their recruiting board is filled (above) and Coach Hoke is happy with this class.  He'll tell you why below:

Recruitaholics: The Usual + Your NSD Preview

This Week: National Signing Day, The Floor is Your's, Surveying the '13 Class, New Week, New Commit, Offer, Offers, Offers, Coaching Visits, O.T., and Sayonara

National Signing Day

The beloved once-a-year holiday of football recruiting is finally here and I couldn't be more excited! Tomorrow all current verbal commits will sign their LOI's and be officially committed to The University of Michigan.  Not a lot of commotion should involve Michigan's name tomorrow with the class having 27 members.  Barring a surprise (remember Dennis Norfleet last year), the book is closed on '13, but there is some what of a matter that we may need to worry about come tomorrow morning.  I address this and more, thanks to you guys/gals, in my first edition of "The Floor is Your's":

Question #1 comes from Dave Conlon, @DaveCC1109: Any chance we have a major defection at the last minute?

- I don't see much happening in a sense of bad news on Wednesday.  Most every commit is solid as of today, but there is one name to keep an eye on...DT Henri Poggi.  Poggi took a visit to Alabama a few weeks ago and hasn't really said much since his visit to Tuscaloosa.  Is this good?  Not sure.  He could be thinking either way.  According to Rivals Ralph Friedman, Poggi is going to send his LOI into which ever school he picks, most still saying Michigan, at 11 AM tomorrow morning.  Could be Michigan's only excitement tomorrow.

A follow up question from Anthony Ramirez, @tonyR35: Whats your confidence level with Poggi staying blue?

-This situation is hard to read because his dad and Poggi himself have gone silent, as stated above.  There's no doubt that a visit to Alabama has the young man thinking.  I mean they have won 3 out of the last 4 national championships so that's enough to make a kid think without looking at any other factors.  But I believe he will still be a part of this class.  He's been committed since early last summer and has never given us a reason to worry until just very recently.  Remember, Poggi was the main commit recruiting at the UAAA Game and maybe the most impressive as well.  Would be a big loss because I believe he has the best chance at seeing the field next year on defense.  

Question #3 from Tra'e Meyers Waeghe, @TMTMWx97x: Do you think Michigan offers Kenton Gibbs tomorrow to fill the final spot?!?

-Ya know, I'm really glad you asked me this, because I was thinking about this exact situation over the weekend.  I'd say if an offer does come out, he will have a hard time saying no.  Saying that, I don't believe an offer will come to Gibbs from Hoke and co.  Indications have been that the '13 class is all but closed (barring some big talent wanting to commit obviously), which makes sense because with only 18 spots in the next year's class, they are in on a lot of top 2014 talent and the more spots the better.

Thanks again to all for your question's.  Due to an overload of, well, the only thing concerning Michigan tomorrow in the Poggi situation, there wasn't much else to discuss.  Don't forget follow me on twitter @dwinslow09 for updates all day along with how the Poggi situation will unfold around 11 o'clock or so.

Surveying The '13 Class

TomVH and Chantel Jennings of ESPN's Wolverine Nation put together a fun bit of questions to ask current commits testing their knowledge of the University of Michigan along with some other fun topics.  Warning: Some of these responses are in-ter-rest-ing ladies and gents (of course I only picked the interesting responses, no one likes boring and predicatable):
8) What's Brady Hoke's real name? (Trick follow-up question because Chantel and Tom are sneaky.)  A: Brady  Correct: 10  Incorrect: 14
Best answers: "Bradley? Brandon? What would Brady be short for? I'll go with Bradley." It's Brady. It's a trick question. "Oh dammit, y'all are terrible."
"Brittany? I have no idea what that's short for? What could that possibly be short for?"
"Wait, it's not Brady?" It is. "That's mean."
9) Do you know all the words to "The Victors?"
Yes: 9  No: 15
Best answer: "Do I have to sing it?" No. "OK, then yeah, I know them all."
Man, gotta love some of those responses.  If only we could know which recruit said what; or maybe it's better that we don't know.  Here's a few more:
14) What school recruited you the hardest after you committed to Michigan?
Ohio State -- 4
Illinois -- 2
Alabama -- 2
LSU -- 2
Florida -- 2
Washington -- 2
No one -- 2
One vote each -- USC, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Virginia, NC State
2) What was the weirdest sales pitch you received during your recruitment?
"A kid they were recruiting had girls with him everywhere he went. They put two or three girls to follow him around."
"The girls, just how beautiful they were. I saw it. So I believed it. I was like, 'OK, yeah. I can see that.' ""It was the beginning of my junior year at a camp and I tore the camp up. The coach was like, 'If you commit today, I'll let you call the plays and do all that.' I was like, 'WHAT?' It was uncomfortable. That was crazy. It was kind of funny, but mostly crazy."
"Coaches told me that I was guaranteed a starting spot."
I'm not sure if it's surprising or not surprising to see that Ohio recruited guys harder than anyone else after they pledged to the Wolverines.  But something that isn't surprising is the fact that coaches had girls accompany recruits on visits.  It's been going on for a long time fellas, so not shocking to see most responses including women.  Lot's of other good questions (and funny responses) to check out, just listed a few I saw entertaining.

Good news of a slow, inactive recruiting day...with the '13 class pretty much full at this point, the coaching staff has plenty of time to get a big jump on the '14 class.  The early bird gets the worm once again, as Hoke and company have proved, bringing in a stellar group of kids to represent:
I know it's tuurrible, and kind of green; throw me a frickin' bone here!  Image via here

Now some of the Usual

New Week, New Commit

WR Jack Wangler, former teammate of QB Shane Morris at De La Salle (MI), has accepted a preferred walk-on offer over an offer from Valparaiso.  247 Sports Steve Lorenz (formally Tremendous) caught up with Wangler to discuss continuing the family legacy and why Michigan fit:
"I can't wait to carry on the Wangler name at Michigan," he said. "Before I made it public, I was sure to call my dad and let him know what I had decided to do. He was definitely excited. Being around Michigan my entire life and experiencing it so much the past couple seasons really made it an easy choice. My dad said my years at Michigan will end up being the best four or five years of my life. I know they were for him."
"I'm coming in to play," he said. "I will make an impact at Michigan. It might not be right away and I know I'm going to have to work harder than I ever have, but this is something I realized before I made the decision. I'm coming in knowing I have to compete, but I'm also coming in knowing I can compete and become the player I want to be if I work at it."
I think he could definitely have a shot to see some action.  He's a tall receiver who would be a great possession guy.  Below, I've got a double doosie for y'all; enjoy the senior highlight's of Morris, but more importantly, Wangler.

Offers, Offers, Offers

Lots of offers have gone out as the '13 class comes to an end tomorrow and focus starts to turn to the '14 class (and '15).  This week definitely mirrors this trend:

-ATH Juwann Winfree - Winfree has the perfect size and speed to become a wide receiver at the next level.  Has a decent offer list as well.
-RB Christian McCaffrey - You may recognize this last name, you may not.  But if you do, then you remember how well his dad, Ed, played in the NFL for a number of years.  And with Michigan's success of pulling former stars sons (Hardaway, GRIII - yes I know they are bball, but still...), Hoke and co. may need to pull a page out of Beilein's book.
-RB Shai McKenzie - could be a Derrick Green clone with his a good frame and solid speed (listed at 4.42).
-ATH Dravon Henry - a poor man's Jabril Peppers, an early 5-star, jr. highlight tape is spectacular.
-S Jamal Adams - He's going to be a tough one to pull away from the southwest area, but get him on campus and anything could happen.
-ATH Kalen Ballage - I really like this kid despite his number of big time offers.
-DE Lorenzo Carter - BIG time prospect.  At 6'6" has a big frame to add to his current 232 lbs.

-'15 ATH Osa Masina - offer #5 in this class.  Coaches must really like something, can't blame 'em.

Coaching Visits

All 2014 prospects:
-DE Andrew Williams - he could fit another position as well according to Coach Mattison:
He also loved what he heard from the defensive coaches
-S Brandon Simmons - has a big offer sheet, may be a 5-star in the end
-S C.J. Reavis - will play strong safety at next level, can lay the blow
-S Nick Watkins - the best safety mentioned of the three.  5-star, no doubt
-DB Parrker Westphal - you all know the story...Michigan leads and may be tough to beat
-OT  Javon Pruitt
-OT Ty Barrett
-OL Roderick Johnson
-OT Orlando Brown - 6'7" 345, 'nough said. 
-DE Lawrence Marshall Jr.  - high interest for Michigan; could be a UM-OSU battle
-ATH Dariean Watkins a do-it-all back, even plays QB!
-WR Drake Harris - told 247Sport's Steve Lorenz, "Michigan's offense a perfect fit."
-Teammates MI LB Carl Fuller, WR Jalen Embry, and '15 Tyriq Thompson
-DB Ronnie Larue - lacks good speed for the DB position, but can make up for it with his length
-DE Solomon Thomas - Kid is a monster! But same goes for him above
-WR Dallis Todd - Very, very tall at 6'5", always nice to have those kind of guys
-WR Caleb Harris

-RB Damien Harris - Has named Michigan his current leader 
-WR Ray Buford


'14 QB David Cornwell looks to be expecting an offer soon...
Just going out on a limb here and say we could possibly pick up a commit or 2 from the '14 class, and if the above becomes true, Cornwell would be a likely candidate.


The Michigan coaching staff and '14 commit OL Denzel Ward have parted ways.  Ward recently moved to Florida to attend IMG Academy and after taking a visit to Florida, he is no longer a part of next years class.  Conflicting reports have came out about whether it was Ward's decision or the coaches, but here's what Ward had to say himself:
But Scout's Sam Webb had this to say:

You be the judge.  I think the door would be open late in the signing period if Michigan has a spot.