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Varsity Blue

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Mailbag

First things first. Our boy RJ asks:
"The stat that you always hear preseason is returning starters. How much does this stat actually predict the outcomes of a season? Just because players haven't had game experience doesn't mean they won't breakout. Good starters have to come from somewhere before they start."
Well, returning starters have two advantages over anyone else on the team:
1) They were good enough to start last year (over any seniors who may have been on the team)
2) They have in-game experience.
The first part is self-explanatory, but it is the second part that is more important. Playing experience is huge moving from high school to college because the quality of opponent and speed of the game are faster, as well as fan interaction and pressure. A guy who has played before at least knows what it is like playing before 100,000+, and has experience either channeling that out or harnessing it to his advantage. A first-time player doesn't know what that is like.

In addition, players can break out from non starting roles (or even as freshmen). But the potential for a freshman is anywhere from 0 to 100% of what you expect. An experience player has already shown what he can do in a game, so there are fewer surprises (positively and negatively).

Question numero dos is from Sam:
"whats the deal with william campbell? he says he is committed but that he is going to go on visits? that doesnt sound like a commit to me! thanks for your answer."
I agree with you. If a player commits, but says he is going to look around, then I don't consider it a commit at all. Rather, it is a strong lean. Nobody is truly committed until they sign the LOI, but there are definitely degrees of commitment. A guy who won't take any other visits and actively recruits for your team is obviously most committed with guys who tell the national services that they are "kinda committed" to the school of their choice at the other end of the spectrum.

As far as Campbell in particular, I don't think there is much to worry about. Here is a kid from Detroit who hasn't had a ton of opportunity to see the world. Now he is given free trips to South Beach and L.A. based on his athletic talents. Can you hold it against him for taking up those offers?

Rich Rod has said he will recruit guys to the end, regardless of commitments. While most took that to mean he wouldn't have a problem continuing to recruit Shaw and Roundtree last year, it also applies to guys committed to the Wolverines who are still looking around. If Campbell ends up going elsewhere, it isn't because Rodriguez was sleeping on the job.

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“Mailbag”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous Says:

    You really think we actually have a shot at Newsome considering he has stated that he wants to play in a pro-style offense and happens to be geographically close to VT?

  2. Blogger Tim Says:

    I answered your question in a mailbag a couple of weeks ago (and have had several posts on the matter since).