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Stadium and Main: Worse than nicotine

Friday, August 25, 2006

Worse than nicotine

Last week, after one-time Michigan “lock” CB Dionte Allen abruptly committed to Florida State, and rumored Michigan “lean” WR Taurian Washington committed to Ohio State, it made me question whether putting any time and energy into recruiting (i.e. the decisions of 17-year-olds) was worth it. The events of yesterday made me realize that, for me, it is. While most Michigan “recruitniks” have known about WR Kenneth (a.k.a. “Junior” a.k.a. “J.R.”) Hemingway for more than a year, I first heard about him a bit earlier, from a random, well-connected dude at The Pour House. This guy starts telling me about Hemingway – how he’s gonna be the man, how the coaches love him and the feeling is mutual, etc. In my mind, Hemingway was already a Wolverine, and it turned out that he is the kind of kid that we want on our team. So I was happy yesterday when he chose Michigan.

I was even more excited for Marques Slocum yesterday. News broke that he will be attending Michigan in the Fall, but will likely still have to “earn” his eligibility this school year. As Brian from mgoblog put it,
“I've never seen a recruit this tenaciously determined to go to school here. Anybody else would be in their second year at a JUCO or receiving a PhD from Michigan State by now.”
Well said. I’ve been rooting for Slocum since Day 1, and to see that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel makes me admire the kid for staying the course.

You see, in my crazy head, it’s all about the back-stories. It’s about watching “The Run” by Mike Hart, hearing most fans say that he would never play a meaningful down at RB, and then watching him explode onto the scene as a True Freshman. It’s about hearing that when Maurice Clarett took an “official visit” to Ann Arbor for the 2001 Michigan-OSU game, he spent most of his time on the OSU sideline, making me hate the guy long before the Ohio Police Department did. It’s about former Miami LB Willie Williams loving lobster (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, well... it’s a long story).

Growing up, my only recruiting information came from the once-a-year Detroit News “articles” telling me the names, weights, and heights of the incoming class, with (maybe, if I was lucky) a profile of one of the “best” recruits. In the early 1990s, I remember hearing about former Michigan RB Tim Biakabatuka’s recruitment – how he was a “diamond in the rough” from Canada – and I remember thinking, “people actually know who Michigan is recruiting, and how good they are?” Thanks to Al Gore (or not), that question seems pretty stupid today, but everything was different a mere 15 years ago. Today, recruiting is a business, and I’m not just talking about SEC shadiness. Kids are certainly given too much attention, and “adults” care far too much about their decisions.

I love Michigan Football, and I admit that I have been disappointed when a certain recruit “snubs” us. But I don’t let it affect my life, let alone my day. Following recruiting might seem like a weird hobby, but there are more pointless things that I could be “into.” So, I’m sticking with it, although I probably couldn’t give it up if I tried. Give me 5-stars, or give me death!


Blogger Kenny said...

Definitely agree, I first found The Wolverine right after I had been admitted to Michigan during the spring of 1999 and I've been hooked ever since.

7:40 PM  

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