Hitting the Links Is All-Worm
This is a bit of a follow-up on an earlier discussion, with some quotes and context of Pryor and Tebow trying to succeed at their various opportunities.
In some other odds and ends from spring practice, Rutgers' Chris Laviano now leads Hayden Rettig entering summer ball, and Minnesota's Jeff Jones has been moved to wide receiver. Nebraska's Terrell Newby is the front-runner for Nebraska's vacant running back job, as well.
If anything damning comes from the findings, Bill Cubit should start next year at the helm. The Illini need stability to maintain their upward momentum, and yet Beckman's presence now puts any positive movement in jeopardy. Recruits won't want to play for a man with Beckman's history. Meanwhile, Cubit provided a dramatic upgrade to the offense in 2013, taking the 122nd-ranked offense and improving them swiftly to 61st and 87th a year ago despite quarterback injuries. Cubit went 51-47 in eight years at Western Michigan, and gives the Illini an identity.
Putting organization things aside, this is a sad moment for the Big Ten. There is no place for this kind of behavior, whether it's the academically conscious Big Ten or the NFL. Player safety matters. One of the many things that's sad about these accusations is how avoidable and unnecessary they are. Coaches do not need to attack players, install practices with players jumping on the backs of others', or employ unlicensed professionals. It adds no value whatsoever to wins, growth, or anything else Tim Beckman might have been striving for.
Jake Rudock is the most noticeable departure, but there were some other, lesser-known guys that I was sad to see go - Reggie Spearman started 7 games at linebacker in 2014, and Derrick Willies got buzz at wide receiver before leaving in October. As this highlights, a heavy amount of Iowa's attrition comes at the skill positions, where it's near impossible to get away with walk-on talent.
Also, credit to TCQ for their poise in handling this.
Dantonio has gotten nine commits since April 22nd, including two four-stars.
Hopefully there's a different outcome this time around. That 43-40 loss stung.
This SI piece looks at how SEC players are liked on Draft Day, even if they don't succeed at a much greater rate once they're in the league.
ESPN has your weekly summary of all the Michigan headlines during another mere week of the off-season.
I love the way they roll with a misspelling; also, this hasn't been brought up a lot, but the Big Ten really could have a better year at quarterback than the SEC. Dak Prescott and Jeremy Johnson should be terrific, but there are some serious talent issues at some of the more QB-needy SEC programs. Meanwhile, the Big Ten can boast multiple first-round picks, and their 'lowest tier' of talent features some intriguing options like C.J. Beathard and Caleb Rowe.
Inside Bo Pelini's Buyout
Inside Bo Pelini's Buyout
That's a pretty good salary to not coach.
A lot of the quarterback's success this year will depend on the receiver position. If guys like Freddy Canteen and Mo Ways blossom into guys who get wide open somewhat often - honestly, it would be too much to expect a whole lot of consistency from a really young group - the quarterback position should be fine. If receivers don't get separation downfield, Jake Rudock is probably your safest bet to make the careful throws. Regardless, this is finally the year Michigan rides or dies with the running backs.
The senior has one last chance to make a memorable impression.
Cook has been given the reins by Mark Dantonio to gunsling and learn along the way. Now, he has to show that he's gotten something from that and cut down on his mistakes. Also, I want to see a little bit of Peyton Manning in him this year. Physically gifted, mentally and emotionally capable, Cook has a lot of skills. But I want to see him develop as a tactical surgeon.