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Varsity Blue

Visit the new Varsity Blue at http://www.umvarsityblue.com!

Movin' On Up

Monday, December 15, 2008 by Paul

The new Varsity Blue officially open for business at http://www.umvarsityblue.com. This site will remain up, but will not be updated anymore.

I hope y'all will follow us uptown to the new site: Varsity Blue.

For those of you who view the feed, the RSS feed for the new site is available here.

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Taylor Lewan Goes Blue

Sunday, December 14, 2008 by Tim

Taylor Lewan, a 6-7, 280-lb offensive tackle from Scottsdale, Arizona. Lewan is a high school teammate of Michigan defensive end commit Craig Roh, and becomes the 21st commitment in Michigan's class of 2009.

Recruiting Notes
Lewan was unknown early in the recruiting season, but a solid senior year at a new position and a new school has given him the ability to pick from a virtual who's-who of colleges. Michigan offered him after the first few games of his final high school campaign, and when they landed Craig Roh, it greatly increased their chances to land Taylor. However, Lewan's father is a native Minnesotan, and attended the University in St. Paul. Because of his father's roots, Lewan has described himself as a displaced midwesterner. After a Minnesota visit, Lewan maintained that he would still take trips to Michigan and Oregon before making his decision. Taylor visited Ann Arbor the weekend of December 13th, and attended Michigan's basketball victory against Eastern Michigan. Shortly thereafter, he told Rich Rodriguez that he wished to be a Michigan Wolverine, and committed to the Maize and Blue.

Player Notes
In his junior year, Taylor Lewan was a little-known defensive end prospect from Cactus Shadows High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. A transfer to Chaparral High School (a more successful program) and a move to the offensive tackle position (at which he is a better physical fit) gave Lewan a new lease on football life. He has become one of the fastes-rising prospects in the country over the course of a few short months. Lewan is a true offensive tackle, and a four-star prospect to both recruiting sites. He plays with an edge to his game that sets him apart from other offensive linemen. New teammate Craig Roh had a mutually-beneficial relationship on the practice field with Lewan, and the pair helped each other improve. Roh has described Lewan as a gym rat that won't be outworked by anyone. Roh and Lewan also faced

Video
Junior Film

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Sam McGuffie Leaves Michigan

Friday, December 12, 2008 by Tim

...and there was much sadness.

Freshman running back Sam McGuffie has announced his intentions to transfer from Michigan. McGuffie was Michigan's 2nd leading rusher on the year, but missed parts or all of several games with concussions. He received his unconditional release from Michigan this morning, according to both pay sites.

McGuffie-and-Michigan never was a perfect fit after the departure of Lloyd Carr and the pro-style system, and McGuffie will likely transfer somewhere closer to home that is a better fit for his skill set. His injury history and family issues are reported to be the reasons for his departure from Michigan.

Varsity Blue wishes McGuffie the best of luck with whatever he plans to do in the future. Scholarship count will be updated accordingly.

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Big Ten 2009 Recruiting Class Rankings 12-12-08

by Tim

Action since last rankings:
12-7-08 Notre Dame gains commitment from Jordan Cowart.
12-8-08 Michigan State gains commitment from Corey Freeman. Purdue gains commitment from Xavier Melton.
12-9-08 Indiana loses commitment from Kenny Watkins.
12-11-08 Michigan gains commitment from Cameron Gordon.

New Rankings:
#1 Ohio State - 24 commits
LB
*****
Dorian Bell
RB
****
Jaamal Berry
DE
****
Melvin Fellows
CB
****
CJ Barnett
WR
****
James Jackson
MLB
****
Storm Klein
MLB
****
Jordan Whiting
RB
****
Jordan Hall
OG
****
Corey Linsley
OT
****
Jack Mewhort
S
****
Jamie Wood
WR
****
Justin Green
RB
****
Carlos Hyde
CB
****
Corey Brown
WR
****
Chris Fields
CB
****
Dominic Clarke
WR
***
Duron Carter
DE
***
Jonathan Newsome
TE
***
Reid Fragel
DT
***
Adam Bellamy
FB
***
Adam Homan
LB
***
Zach Boren
OL
***
Sam Longo
DT
***
Johnny Simon


#2 Michigan - 21 commits
CB
****
Justin Turner
QB
****
Tate Forcier
QB
****
Shavodrick Beaver
RB
****
Fitzgerald Toussaint
S
****
Vladimir Emilien
WR
****
Jeremy Gallon
OL
****
Michael Schofield
DT
****
DeQuinta Jones
DE
****
Anthony LaLota
DE
****
Craig Roh
DT
****
Pearlie Graves
WR
****
Cameron Gordon
S
***
Isaiah Bell
WR
***
DeWayne Peace
RB
***
Teric Jones
LB
***
Jordan Barnes
S
***
Mike Jones
LB
***
Brandin Hawthorne
RB
***
Vincent Smith
S
***
Thomas Gordon
K
**
Brendan Gibbons


#3 Notre Dame - 18 commits
RB
*****
Cierre Wood
WR
****
Shaquelle Evans
OL
****
Chris Watt
RB
****
Theo Riddick
DT
****
Tyler Stockton
OL
****
Alex Bullard
CB
****
Marlon Pollard
LB
****
Dan Fox
OL
****
Zach Martin
LB
****
Zeke Motta
S
***
Nyshier Oliver
S
***
EJ Banks
TE
***
Tyler Eifert
MLB
***
Carlo Calabrese
P
***
Ben Turk
K
**
Nicholas Tausch
TE
**
Jake Golic
OL
*
Jordan Cowart


#4 Michigan State - 17 commits
RB
****
Edwin Baker
RB
****
Larry Caper
SLB
****
Chris Norman
OL
****
David Barrent
WR
****
Donald Spencer
DT
****
Blake Treadwell
QB
****
Andrew Maxwell
OL
****
Nate Klatt
WR
***
Dana Dixon
LB
***
Tyquan Hammock
OL
***
Micajah Reynolds
WR
***
Patrick White
DE
***
Dan France
LB
***
Denicos Allen
WR
***
Bennie Fowler
TE
**
Derek Hoebing
DE
*
Corey Freeman


#5 Illinois - 16 commits
WR
****
Kraig Appleton
DT
****
Lendell Buckner
OT
****
Leon Hill
QB
****
Nathan Scheelhaase
RB
****
Bud Golden
WR
****
Terry Hawthorne
DE
****
Craig Drummond
OL
***
Andrew Carter
FB
***
Greg Fuller
OL
***
Hugh Thornton
DT
***
Tank Carradine
WR
***
Steve Hull
S
**
Tommie Hopkins
CB
**
Joelil Thrash
OL
**
Jake Feldmeyer
LB
**
Darryl Lee


#6 Penn State - 20 commits
OT
****
Eric Shrive
CB
****
Darrell Givens
DE
****
Sean Stanley
S
****
Derrick Thomas
S
***
Stephen Obeng-Agyapong
S
***
Malcolm Willis
C
***
Ty Howle
CB
***
Stephon Morris
WR
***
Brandon Felder
OT
***
Adam Gress
OL
***
Nate Cadogan
RB
***
Curtis Dukes
LB
***
Glenn Carson
ATH
***
Devon Smith
K
***
Anthony Fera
QB
**
Curtis Drake
OG
**
Frank Figueroa
WR
**
Christian Kuntz
OT
**
Mark Arcidiacono
DE
**
Garry Gilliam


#7 Wisconsin - 17 commits
DT
****
Jared Kohout
DE
****
Shelby Harris
DE
****
David Gilbert
RB
****
Montee Ball
LB
***
Conor O'Neill
DE
***
Tyler Dippel
OG
***
Ryan Groy
QB
***
Jon Budmayr
OT
***
Zac Matthias
TE
***
Brian Wozniak
MLB
***
Chris Borland
OL
***
Travis Frederick
LB
***
AJ Fenton
WR
***
Jeff Duckworth
OL
**
Casey Dehn
S
**
Jason Peprah
CB
**
Darius Thomas


#8 Minnesota - 15 commits
RB
****
Hasan Lipscomb
WR
****
Hayo Carpenter
QB
***
Moses Alipate
C
***
Ed Olsen
OT
***
Josh Campion
WR
***
Victor Keise
OL
***
Brooks Michel
LB
***
Kendell Gregory-McGhee
DB
***
Kerry Lewis
TE
***
Ra'Shede Hageman
DT
***
Joey Searcy
DE
***
Matt Garin
CB
***
Daryl Robinson
DE
**
Nick Rengel
K
**
Dan Orseske
Up: Robinson (From 1)

#9 Indiana - 15 commits
LB
****
Jeremy Gainer
QB
***
Edward Wright-Baker
DT
***
Adam Replogle
WR
***
Jamonne Chester
WR
***
Duwyce Wilson
OL
***
Charles Chapman
QB
***
Dustin Kiel
OL
***
Colin Rodkey
CB
***
Lawrence Barnett
K
***
Mitch Ewald
S
***
Nick Zachery
S
***
Demetrius Carr
S
***
Ted Bolser
OL
***
Pat McShane
DE
**
Javon Cornley


#10 Northwestern - 15 commits
OL
****
Patrick Ward
QB
***
Evan Watkins
RB
***
Mike Trumpy
DE
***
Anthony Battle
LB
***
Will Studlien
OL
***
Taylor Paxton
DB
***
Davion Fleming
RB
***
Arby Fields
OL
**
Brian Smith
WR
**
Drew Moulton
LB
**
Tim Riley
LB
**
Tyler Scott
DE
**
John Plasencia
K
**
Jeff Budzein
S
*
Cooper Gerami


#11 Iowa - 12 commits
WR
****
Keenan Davis
RB
****
Brandon Wegher
WR
***
Jordan Cotton
FB
***
Brad Rogers
OL
**
Drew Clark
DT
**
Scott Covert
OL
**
Brett Van Sloten
TE
**
Anthony Schiavone
LB
**
Tyler Harrell
LB
**
Shane DiBona
LB
**
Martin Hopkins
CB
**
Joshua Brown


#12 Purdue - 12 commits
DT
***
Eric McDaniel
DE
***
Shayon Green
TE
***
Gabrison Holmes
WR
***
Xavier Reese
DT
**
Cody Davis
DE
**
Trevor Foy
S
**
Ishmael Aristide
WR
**
Gary Bush
QB
**
Rob Henry
WR
**
Josh Johnson
DT
**
Brandon Taylor
DB
*
Chris Quinn
DT
*
Xavier Melton

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Cameron Gordon Goes Blue

Thursday, December 11, 2008 by Tim

Wide receiver Cameron Gordon of Inkster, Michigan has given his word to sign with Michigan in February. Gordon is a 6-3, 210-lb player who has been measured at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash. He is Michigan's 21st commit in the class of 2009.

Recruiting Notes
Gordon started the recruiting year as someone Michigan fans expected to likely end up in the Wolverines' recruiting class. However, it certainly ended up taking significantly longer than they expected (although he had always planned to take his time with a decision). At the end of his junior year, he announced that he would be transferring from Melvindale High School to Inkster, where he would have a better opportunity to excel athletically. During the summer, he attended Michigan's summer camp. The Wolverine coaches told him that they liked him more as a linebacker, and told him that he would receive an offer if he was willing to play at that position in college. With a noncommittal answer, Michigan's offer took significantly longer to arrive than Gordon would have otherwise liked. When he finally received his offer in November, Gordon took a visit to Iowa, who had been on him all along. However, the allure of the Michigan offer was too much to pass up, and he committed to Michigan today.

Player Notes
Gordon is a big, physical receiver, with large measurables for the position. He lacks elite speed, but is able to beat defenders, using his body well and catching it at the highest point with his biug hands. However, Michigan fans liked the physical play he could bring to a linebacker position at the next level. It will be interesting to see whether he remains at receiver when he gets to the next level, or at least be open to a potential position switch.

Etc.
This year, Gordon was catching passes thrown by 2010 dual-threat quarterback prospect Devin Gardner, who is certainly one of the top targets on Michigan's recruiting board. Securing a commitment from Gordon should go a long way to helping Michigan land his teammate in the next recruiting class.

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Programming Update: Dead Weekend

by Tim

We will not be posting this weekend, for several reasons:
  • Varsity Blue may or may not be moving venues starting on Monday. I'll let Paul fill in the gruesome details, since he's far more knowledgeable on the matter.
  • I currently believe that I am going to be unavailable most of the time (as I was last weekend, hence the inconsistency in posting).
  • With the season over, there is little to post about, and I think it's time to take a little break from scraping together content.

That said, the Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings that are typically posted on Saturdays will make their tomorrow afternoon. Friday Night Lights (the final substantive update of the year) will appear on Monday. There may be a post or two shuffled in today or tomorrow as well, but no guarantees.

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Recruiting Update 12-10-08

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 by Tim

All-conference performers in Southeastern Conference play include 2010 WR commit Jeremy Jackson of AA Huron and 2010 RB prospect Nick Hill from Chelsea.

2010 OH TE Greg Gainey has transferred from Trotwood-Madison to Thurgood Marshall. Without the pipeline advantage, and at a position of little need, will he remain a Michigan target? He stays on the board for now, but he's a candidate for removal.

2010 PA DE Dakota Royer was picked to his All-conference team on offense and defense. Stats? Stats.
56 catches for 1,099 yards (20 yards per grab) and five TDs. 132 tackles, 11 sacks.
He has offers from Penn State, Pitt, Stanford, and Maryland at this point.

Want some fluff on 2010 IL QB Detchauz Wray? It's your lucky day!
Junior quarterback Detchauz Wray completed 133 of 228 passes (58.3 percent) this season for 2,564 yards and 38 touchdowns while throwing only five turnovers. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound signal caller also rushed for 260 yards and five touchdowns...

Wray's impressive numbers have gained the attention of several Division I programs. The Flyers' standout has already received offers from Arizona and Kansas State, Sunkett said. Illinois and Kansas have also shown Wray interest.

Sunkett said East St. Louis' offense doesn't call for the quarterback to run often but that Wray has the ability to be a dual threat. However, Wray's stature may force him to change positions, possibly wide receiver or cornerback, at the next level.
For now, he'll remain at QB on the board, but he is a definite position-change candidate down the road.

Though Minnesota recently lost their OL coach, the new hire has already hit the road to recruit a few UM prospects:
Meanwhile, new Gophers running game coordinator-offensive line coach Tim Davis, who left No. 1 Alabama last week for Minnesota, spent Monday, his first day with the Gophers, in Phoenix recruiting 6-foot-6, 265-pound Taylor Lewan [2009], a nationally sought offensive lineman. Today, Davis plans to be at Cretin-Derham Hall, which has 6-8, 296-pound junior offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson [2010], who is among the country's elite prep players.
Lewan is heading to Ann Arbor this weekend for his official visit. Other prospects on the docket include:
NC CB Josh Hunter (North Carolina Commit).
FL S/LB Commit Mike Jones.
FL K Commit Brendan Gibbons.
Speaking of Gibbons, he's been selected to the Army All-American Bowl. He will be headed there instead of the ESPNU game, to which he was already committed.

From yesterday's WTKA Recruiting Roundup with Sam Webb:
  • Will Campbell enjoyed his Michigan official last weekend. Both parents want Will to go to Michigan, and have mentioned that recruiters have seemed... disingenuous... at some other schools, particularly in regards to treating Will's mother like an annoyance.
  • 2010 OH RB Erick Howard grew up liking Michigan, and the Wolverines would start at an advantage if he is recruited down the road.
  • 2009 MI TE Dion Sims has eliminated Michigan. I knew he was never really going to end up here, and I've been saying (even when he was still on the table) that he doesn't seem like a guy who likes football or has the necessary intensity to enjoy it in Rich Rodriguez's program. It's sad to lose another instate guy, but c'est la vie.
Another recruiting post sometime late this week or early next week.

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Blogpoll Final Ballot: Week 15

by Tim

RankTeamDelta
1 Oklahoma --
2 Florida --
3 Texas --
4 Penn State --
5 Southern Cal --
6 Alabama --
7 Texas Tech --
8 Utah --
9 Ohio State --
10 Boise State --
11 TCU --
12 Georgia Tech --
13 Georgia --
14 Cincinnati --
15 Oklahoma State --
16 Missouri --
17 Michigan State --
18 Virginia Tech --
19 Iowa --
20 Brigham Young --
21 Pittsburgh --
22 Oregon --
23 Boston College --
24 Northwestern --
25 Oregon State 1

Dropped Out: Ball State (#25).

With no comments on the draft ballot, everything remains as it was. Again, the deltas are inaccurate, so pay them no mind.

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