Yesterday Michigan got its first taste of real heartbreak on the 2013 recruiting trail. Virginia linebacker EJ Levenberry laid out three hats at a 3pm press conference and the maize and blue stayed on the table (leading Tremendous to wonder aloud on twitter when the last time was that Michigan got a commitment that stuck from a hat ceremony). Levenberry was a huge recruit with NFL size and athleticism but a long term developmental project.
Weeks ago Michigan began turning away linebackers from visits saying that the position was full. This led many to believe that both Levenberry and Gedeon were either silent commits or strong leans --- as the only official commitment was LB Mike McCray.
Needless to say, this comes as a blow to 2013 recruiting. Levenberry is a consensus four-star linebacker that stands as a top-100 player to Rivals and Scout. You don't want to miss out on high profile kids who refer to their visit to your school as a "10 out of 10".
However, there are a few important caveats to remember when putting this loss into context. First, Michigan still has what is widely regarded as the top 2013 class with the potential to add almost entirely four-star players to the rest of the class. Second, after taking four very promising linebackers last year and already having two four-star types at the position this year, linebacker wasn't a big priority. Third, this miss wasn't at the hands of a rival or even a team Michigan will feasibly see on the field at any point when Levenberry is on the team.
Michigan's 2013 class is still ridiculous, and it looks to get a lot more so with or without EJ Levenberry.
On to the links:
Michigan coaches targeting 2012 guard Caris LeVert - The former OHIO (yes, Ohio Ohio) commit has popped up on Michigan's recruiting radar as of late and it seems the Wolverines are more enthralled with the SG than they were with now Ohio State commit Amadeo Della Valle (whose name I refuse to spell check now. You've made your bed, Amadeo. Time to sleep in it).
Michigan unsure if Fab Five banners can be replaced, not opposed to alternate celebration - "In a press conference today Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said he was unsure if the Fab Five banners would eventually go back up after the disassociation period because he though a casual dismissal of the question would be more polite than laughing uncontrollably at a pretty ridiculous question. No doubt either reaction would have pissed off about 25% of the fan base."
OTE's Ohio State Potluck: The Ro*Tel Queso Bowl Is All Sewn Up.... - Want 4500 words on Our Sworn Enemy to the South? OTE has what the doctor ordered.
Big Ten announces prime-time schedule - Michigan gets one more night game (past the already known games against Alabama and Notre Dame) with the addition of an October 27th game against Nebraska at 8pm.
Minnesota to Be First in Big Ten to Allow Beer Sales - If you were watching Minnesota football you'd want a beer too.
MACtion Is Over Until The Fall - Bill Connelly has finished up his MAC previews for 2012.
For your daily dose of hypocracy in college sports: FIU's Dominique Ferguson declares for NBA after failing to get release while John L Smith bails on his alma mater, Weber State, after just four and a half months for a huge pay raise and a better coaching gig. But, yeah, amateurism. Yay.
"A very wise coach once told me, ‘If you really want play-action, you better pull a guard’" - Chris Brown on play action and the top two quarterbacks in the draft.
SEC Dominating in Football, as Academics Get Reamed by Budget Cuts - Football is king in the south. Computer science? Not so much.
It's as if nothing like this has ever happened before, as if, suddenly, shockingly, the once-glorious game is being trampled upon by a new-sprung wave of pretenders and barbarians. In the mythology of American sports, there was a simpler time, a Golden Era, when ballplayers were humble and worked hard and played for the love of the game. In these innocent times, sports were all but unpolluted by greed, egos, cheating and violence. The flip side of this mythos is the idea that today's athletes are different: arrogant, spoiled, lazy, overpaid, brutish.
This is a conviction built on historical amnesia, on a romanticized view of the past and an alarmist view of the present. It's an outlook that ignores these well-documented facts: Sports have always been violent. And they've always been populated by considerable numbers of players and fans who can't behave themselves.