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Thursday Morning Brews: The Final Countdown

NSD is just six days away, Coach Beilein competes for a great cause, and Jim Harbaugh brings back a familiar face

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Michigan vs Florida State
Jim Harbaugh is going long on recruiting and assistant coaches
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Author’s note: Folks, I know I said we’d be back to regularly scheduled Brews this morning but I’ve been busier than I expected to be for this first week of my new job. Today’s Brews will be slightly shorter than normal, but we will 100% be back to normal starting next Tuesday. I guarantee it.

We’re six days away from National Signing Day and you know what that means - we’re in the final countdown and we’re about to enter peak ‘crootin. Over these last few days expect twists and turns as the remaining recruits on the board make their college selections. The highest ranked target still on Michigan’s board is Aubrey Solomon, the 247 Composite #25 recruit in the class. The recent Crystal Ball predictions have mostly been for Michigan, so Harbaugh and Co. just might land (or, re-land) Solomon. He is expected to be an NSD announcement.

Let’s hit the links:

Another top target still on Michigan’s recruiting board is 247 Composite Top-300 RB O’Maury Samuels. I say he’s still on the board because the recently-resolved uncertainty over the RBs coach position had put his commitment in question. According to Sam Webb ($) - tweet above - the coaching staff had been forthcoming with how they expected the coaching situation to play out, and both O’Maury and his father are comfortable with Jay Harbaugh and other new additions to the coaching staff. In the same report, Samuels’ father also mentioned the importance of academics and forging lasting relationships - both of which Michigan excels in. Samuels is expected announce his final decision on NSD. Things could change, but Michigan looks good here for the moment.

Michigan has reportedly hired Greg Frey to coach TEs and OTs. Frey is filling the assistant spot vacated by Tyrone Wheatley, created when the latter accepted a coaching position with the Jacksonville Jaguars. This is Frey’s second stint with Michigan, as he had coached the OL during Rich Rodriguez’s tenure. During that time, he helped develop standouts like Rimington Award winner David Molk, Taylor Lewan, Michael Schofield, and others. He also found great success coaching the OL at Indiana, and is widely respected as a recruiter.

Tom Brady will be playing in his seventh Super Bowl a week from Sunday. That’s seven more Super Bowls than my Lions have played in since I was born, and since the Super Bowl was created for that matter. Fellow Michigan alum and New England Patriot Alan Branch will also be playing in the game a week from Sunday.

Coach Beilein is participating in the Infinity Coaches Charity Challenge, which is an online bracket where fans can vote once a day for their favorite coach/coach of their favorite team. How far coaches advance in the challenge determines how much money will be donated to a charity of their choice. Those who were knocked out in the first round will see $1,000 donated to their charity. Those making it to round two (as Coach Beilein has) will receive at least $7,500, with those making it to round 3 receiving $10,000, round four $15,000, and the winner of the challenge will see $100,000 donated to their charity. Coach Beilein is competing for the Chad Tough Foundation, named for Coach Lloyd Carr’s grandson who passed away a year ago last November from Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) - a rare form of cancer. He was five years old. I don’t know about you guys, but it still gets a little dusty wherever I am when I read about Chad Carr. You can also win some stuff, but who cares - this is about the money going to good causes. Click the link in the tweet above to be taken to the site where you can vote.

Women’s basketball got back to their winning ways Monday evening by defeating Nebraska 84-51. The Wolverines were led by Katelynn Flaherty (27pts), Nicole Munger (18pts), Hallie Thome (15pts), and Kysre Gondrezick (13pts). Last Thursday the Wolverines took a lead over #3 Maryland late in the third quarter, but were unable to stay with Maryland in the fourth quarter - ultimately falling to the Terrapins 77-65. Katelynn Flaherty led the Wolverines in that game as well with 30 points.

Much has been made in recent days about how much money Michigan is spending on its football program. The team is the first in history to have three assistant coaches making $1m or more. Those coaches are Don Brown, Tim Drevno, and - new addition - Pep Hamilton. In addition to having the highest paid head coach in college and the NFL, Michigan has just announced the team will be going to Rome to close out Spring practice. The program is certainly not hard up for money - after all, revenue brought in was $56.4m in last year - but one must wonder what sort of success will be necessary to justify this lavish spending going forward.