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Member since 30 May 2012 | Blog

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Comment 07 Feb 2016

I agree with you to a certain extent on Swenson.  I'm not overly comfortable with it, but I do believe that once the kids commit to a school, they need to listen to the coaches their.  If they want you at their camp, you go to the camp.  If they give you a diet or workout routine they want you to do, you should follow it.  If you are told you are still being evaluated, then proceed like you could lose your scholarship.  If the coaches aren't communicating with you, don't avoid a conversation on it.  Stay engaged in the process.  As a recruit, you have control of your path at all times, don't cede that power by not being engaged in the process.  From accounts, In my opinion Swenson had signs his offer was tenuous.  I think they just think he and his parents didn't think it would happen to them.  They could have done some research on Harbaugh and then had a little bit of a clue.

could the Michigan coaches have handled it better?  Absolutely, but In my opinion, the Swensons ceded their power by not staying engaged.  I certainly could be wrong though.  Recruiting rules definitely could use some modification.

Comment 07 Feb 2016


i appreciate the good write-up, but I couldn't help but notice at least one omission on the Swenson case.  The story will always mostly remain one sided because the school won't ever really comment on its side, but it was out in the public domain that Harbaugh and his staff said they wanted to see Swenson come to the Michigan Football Camp this past summer so they could evaluate him. Swenson declined, so the Michigan staff told him that his senior year he would have to act as his evaluation.  So if the coaches have already told you that you are being evaluated, that implies that your scholarship isn't guaranteed.  On top of that, if you know that and the coaches stop talking to you, I have to think the writing is on the wall.  I don't like how it played out, but from learning more of the story, I think there was more there and following to where Swenson should have known.  I think there was either a game of chicken going on or he thought there was no way they would drop him.  I think a key lesson is that if you commit, in some way you need to act like you are already on the team in that if the coaches ask you to do something or give you an expectation, you need to listen or follow it because it could throw up a red flag to them.

As for the Stan Drayton situation, there is a better way for the coaches to handle that even though it was presented that there isn't.  This is a typical ethical dilemma.  If you know that a coach is leaving your program, as the head coach, you can choose to phase him out of recruiting in some manner.  Urban could have spent all of the time on Weber instead of Drayton.  Instead, it was Drayton who spent countless hours with Weber in the last minute trying to help him make the decision only to leave tOSU within 24 hours of the commitment.  Meyer being the one to do that would have softened that blow, but the thing is, Dayton had the better relationship with Weber and was the one that could most likely get him to commit. Recruiting is all about relationships and once that kid is on the dotted line, it doesn't matter if that particular relationship goes up in flames because you already have the kid stuck and he no longer has any power there.  There is absolutely a choice.  There is always a choice.  Let somebody who is going to stay bring that one home even if it reduces your odds of landing the kid a little bit.  Harbaugh got ridiculed a lot for what happened, but at least in those scenarios the kids still had some choices.  They aren't locked in with the threat of losing a year of playing.  I think the shady things that happen after a kid has signed his LOI is much worse.  Just my opinion.

thanks for the good read.

Comment 05 Feb 2016

Neo, I appreciate the comment.  While Birm has alluded to Meyer pulling kid's offers, I agree, I don't think he has done it near the same scale as Harbaugh.  If it is going to be done, it definitely could be handled better.  An up vote for you as well.  I appreciate you guys tolerating the helmet so I can have a good conversation with everyone.

Comment 05 Feb 2016

77, I don't know if I'm necessarily a fan of the recruiting tactics, but I guess you can't really argue with the results.  The thing I wonder is if Harbaugh will follow Urban's path or not.  Urban used to be the guy pushing the envelope, such as with the Friday night lights camp and contacting girlfriends of recruits and such and now that he has a name brand, he doesn't need to pushe the envelope.  Harbaugh is still getting started and isn't patient, so he is being aggressive about making inroads.  So if he establishes himself and can act more like Saban and Meyer, will he, or will he continue to push the envelope?  That is the question.

Comment 20 Jan 2016

Welcome back Hail!  You dropped off the face of the earth for a while there.

I would normally be the first one with you stating we don't know the context of what or how this really happened, but in this instance, with this kid, I can't help but not really care what the context is.  I'm fine with the method of telling a kid he probably is going to never see any playing time and then letting him decommit to find another place to play, and who knows, maybe that was tried here, but this kid bled blue.  It is obvious that he wanted to play for Michigan.  I understand he was inherited from Hoke, but his offer was reaffirmed.  At the end of the day, if he chooses not to decommit no matter how many ways you try to drop a hint, in my opinion you have to honor the offer.  I guess it is still better than accepting his LOI and then cutting him loose when you don't have room, but I can't help but feel bad about this one.

Comment 20 Jan 2016

Actually, the Mgoblog staffers aren't happy with this one.  I'm not happy with it either.  Should have kept him in his class.  At minimum, he should have been given direction a couple months ago to give him more time to look around.  I feel bad for the kid and wish it would have worked out differently.  Hopefully he finds a good landing spot.  Northwester is apparently an option as well.

Comment 20 Jan 2016


I appreciate your thoughts, but I don't feel I am claiming the high ground.  My point is that none of us know the true context of the situation.

As for my interactions, I try to limit them to those that interact with me in an attempt to respect your said sentiment.  The only time I may deviate is if somebody is bending the truth, so I comment in an attempt to at least let people know of the possibility.  I guess it can be a way of calling BS.  I'm sorry if I misinterpreted your reply to me as interest in engaging in a conversation.  I won't engage in this friendly banter any further, and I will attempt to remember that you don't want to talk to me, but forgive me if I forget in the future, especially if you reply to one of my comments. 

As for the avatar, I understand your dislike for it, but it is not an attempt to strut around here rubbing it in your face.  It is an honest representation of who I am and the team I root for and I don't want anybody to accuse me of misrepresenting myself on this site.  If you fell you must, I take no issue if you feel you must downvote me just for the avatar.  It is the risk I'm willing to take to be able to have honest communication.

Have a good night JohnBlairGoBucks.

Comment 20 Jan 2016

It could be as simple as the other recruits read the story and thought it was so they made the joke to Harbaugh and he is now staying over.  I don't think the pattern is any more telling.  If you attempt to apply the normal rules of society to recruiting, it will never make sense.  You essentially have grown adult men chasing around teenage boys.  Nothing about that makes sense.

I think the most telling of this is that the parents of the recruits don't seem to have any issue with him staying over.  I think that is more telling than trying to apply any social norm to a situation that it doesn't really apply to.  Here is Zach Smith's thoughts on these last visits from an ESPN article.

According to Smith, the in-home visit isn't so much to change a prospect's mind in most cases, but to further build a relationship and help build a level of comfort.

"I've seen them change a kid's mind, but if anything big happens it's more to close the deal," Smith said. "I view it as an opportunity to spend quality time with the parents who are about to turn their kids over to somebody and feel comfortable with that. It's an opportunity to build that relationship so everyone feels comfortable."

I'm going to say, odds are, Harbaugh is also spending time with the parents on these trips.  Heck, the one recruit that he is supposedly staying with, Harbaugh babysat the kid 7 or 8 years ago I believe.  So the family already knows Harbaugh.

Again, I think all we really need to know is that the parents are ok with Harbaugh staying over.  No need to question any further in my opinion.  Strange for real life?  Yes...... but anything that requires written rules to dictate grown adults interactions with kids probably isn't a place that naturally follows life's rules or common sense.

Comment 19 Jan 2016

That is just a snippet of the conversation.  Neither you nor I know what prompted it.  Here is a little more of what the recruit said.

“Under the exact rules, he’s going to be at my house at 12:01 he said. That’s when it’s legal for him to be at my house,” Nordin said. “He said we can watch a movie, see how well we gel and he said he would sleep over after that.

“I was in tears laughing when he said that. He said the next day, if my parents didn’t want me to miss school, he would go to every class with me and go to lunch with me. I was laughing so hard.”

So here is what we know.  Harbaugh is not the first coach to show up at a recruits house just past midnight as soon as a dead period is over.  So that is not new.  Also, I'm sure no college coach is getting into a recruits parents' house at any time of day without permission.  That would be recruiting suicide since parents can block the signing of an LOI.  Also, the recruit laughed when it was said.  So clearly taken as a joke and maybe was meant to be.  The family could have ran with it thinking it woulld be cool.  So it ends up happening.

Comment 19 Jan 2016

First off, taken out of context, a 50 year old man wanting to come over to my house to interact with my teenage son is strange and I would slam my door in their face regardless of if they wanted to stay the night or not.  The above would describe every college coach in America. 

Secondly, the above is meant to prove a point.  None of us know the context of the sleepover discussion.  Joke?  Who made the suggestion?  Were the parents part of the conversation to begin with and on board?  We have absolutely no context, and the blogosphere of recruiting has no interest in trying to help provide it because then the story gets boring and they don't get their page clicks.

Another demonstration.  "JohnBlairGoBucks climbed into a motel bed with a women last night". Well, what is a thought process.  Let's assume you are married for this exercise.  So people that have affairs commonly get motel rooms to meet up with their mistress.  I know from that statement that you went to a motel with a women, so obviously you are having an affair, never mind that the true context of the situation is that you were on vacation with your wife.  I used the small information I knew from the statement to confirm to myself that you are having an affair.  That is what I'm saying is most likely going on with these stories.

Comment 19 Jan 2016

The lifeblood of recruiting is relationship building.  Also, as part of that, we only see snippets of what is going on in this world thanks to social media, which means we get a whole lot of fragments of the process outside of context.  The biggest example of this is the tree climbing incident earlier in the week.  With just the knowledge that Harbaugh climbed a tree, people let their imaginations run wild with whatever crazy idea they thought he was doing.  The true context of the situation was that he and the recruit were playing catch and the ball got stuck in the tree.  So Harbaugh climbed the tree to get it out.  That isn't even crazy, but that also doesn't draw page clicks.  We all have heard the stories about Bo and Woody, but that is the thing, we get the whole story.  Just imagine what we would be saying if we only got essentially a snapshot of some of those stories out of context.  It is quite possible we would think Bo and Woody were equally crazy.

Here is a little take just from my perception, and maybe just to contrast Harbaugh and Meyer a little bit.    Try to think about the last time you saw anything from a buckeye recruit that seemed to be from a spontaneous interaction with Meyer and the Buckeye staff.  I don't think I can find anything besides pictures that they have posed for.  I don't think you see anything, which maybe means when they are with the recruit, they discourage the posts and pictures during the "real" moments, allowing them to control their image.  Now you have Harbaugh, who is unabashed about who he is and doesn't care what people think.  He is who he is, so from appearance, he doesn't care if the recruits pull their phones out and put posts on social media when he is there.  So we get those snippets of the interaction, but we don't get the context.  Much like the tree climbing incident.  That is my take, because I never believe we get the whole story, as we probably shouldn't.  If a recruits parents trust him and like him, since they have met him and actually interacted with him, as a person that hasn't met him, and as a parent that is very guarded with who interacts with my kids, I just trust that they have a better handle on the situation than I do.  If they trust him from that, I think it is safe to ignore some out of context and over sensationalized snippets of his recruiting process.  My take is, Jim Harbaugh doesn't care what you and I think, because he's comfortable with who he is.

Comment 16 Jan 2016

I agree with you on the 5* fail rate.  I'm also surprised that Dunn or Ball didn't break through too.  Seemed like both of them were close to sure things.  I guess potentially one of the big factors may be at the HS level, players can still get by with raw ability without having to work for greatness.  In college, you are less likely to be able to get away with that and will have to put in work.  Maybe that is why a number of these 5* players don't succeed fall.  They never had to work to be the best before, so they aren't prepared for that.

Comment 15 Jan 2016

He was an early enrollee and will have his degree in hand at the end of the spring, so it took him about 3.5 years.  He was buried on the depth chart behind a freshman and a fullback, so this looks like a good move for him if he wants to try to play.  I wish him luck.

Comment 14 Jan 2016

Rumor is that he didn't have the grades.  Time will tell on that, but the speculation as far as I can tell is based on the fact that he hasn't taken any of his officials, not even to Michigan.  Supposedly a recruit has to be considered in good academic standing by the NCAA to be able to take officials.  Maybe Birm can confirm if that is a requirement for officials.

Comment 12 Jan 2016

I'm not making this up.  Look for my comment from his BKAB post in 2013 since it provides some links to the supporting information.  I followed him closely when he was a Michigan recruit because when he was offered and committed, he was way under-the-radar, but his highlights showed he was special, so I was looking forward to him joining the team.  The thing that seemed to play out as a big difference maker in his recruitment was that even though Conley had expressed an interest in starting as a receiver, Hoke and Michigan were exclusively interested in him as a CB.  Ohio State and Meyer promised he could play wherever he wanted and even Oregon expressed interest as a WR, but never offered.  From everything I have read since he became a Buckeye, Conley has never spent any time at tOSU as a receiver, which based on his stated interest as a recruit, he never got the shot he was promised. 

Comment 12 Jan 2016

[UPDATE]  Additional research seems to show that Hetuck referenced the University of Georgia Compliance page (LINK).  Digging a little further, Colorado State's page seems to cite similar information and it was last updated in 2011 (LINK).  So then if one references the 2011-12 NCAA Division 1 Manual (LINK), it is inline with the information Hetuck cited from Georgia.  

Conclusion:  Georgia and Hetuck's information is out of date.  The Free Press information is more accurate since they cited the current 2015-16 NCAA Division 1 Manual - October (LINK).