Sunday, October 14, 2012

David Dawson, Ex-Wolverine

David Dawson (#55)
Detroit (MI) Cass Tech offensive guard David Dawson decommitted from Michigan on Sunday morning.  He had been flirting with visiting other schools - particularly Florida - for months, and he has decided to visit Gainesville this coming weekend.  During the summer, quite a stink was caused when he was at The Opening in Oregon and mentioned that he wanted to visit Florida.  The coaches put a stop to that flirtation at that point, and some people assumed that would be the end of it.  However, Dawson's comments about that incident and his attitude in general made me think that he would continue to be one to watch.

Head coach Brady Hoke has a policy that any players committed to Michigan shouldn't visit other schools; if they do, their scholarship offer will be rescinded.  Obviously, Dawson broke that commitment when he decided to visit the Gators.  I have no problem with Hoke's policy at all.  He wants guys who are 100% committed to Michigan.  At the same time, I hold no ill will toward Dawson for wanting to look around - kids making the biggest decisions of their lives should consider all their options before they're past the point of no return.  Unfortunately, he made a decision for Michigan before he was 100% sure.

As you might have concluded from my past posts and comments (see his commitment post), I'm not a huge fan of Dawson's abilities.  Obviously, some of the recruiting services disagree with me, as he's a top 250 prospect to all four major recruiting services; I gave him a TTB Rating of 67 (a.k.a. an average Big Ten starter).  I think he could have earned a starting job later in his career at Michigan, but I didn't see a path toward stardom for him.  In that respect, this shouldn't be a huge loss for Michigan.

However, now the Wolverines will have to regroup and go after another offensive lineman to fill the class.  All of Michigan's offensive line offerees have committed elsewhere except Laremy Tunsil, who's not considering Michigan.  Lemont (IL) Lemont offensive tackle Ethan Pocic and New Lenox (IL) Lincoln-Way West offensive tackle Colin McGovern were both very high on Michigan before committing to LSU and Notre Dame, respectively.  Those are the two offerees that I would keep an eye on to see if they reconsider their choices.  If the coaches are expanding their recruitment, options could include Penn State decommitment Dorian Johnson, Canton (MI) Canton offensive guard Cameron Dillard, or Huber Heights (OH) Wayne offensive guard Lovell Peterson.

Michigan now has 22 commitments in the class of 2013.

38 comments:

  1. I think the program is really swimming upstream with this approach. I like that they want commits to "be 100% sure", who doesn't, but to be that rigid may be costing them good players.

    Dillard seems like a kid they'd have a real good shot at if they want him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Rodriguez didn't have this policy, and a bunch of guys transferred/quit during Rodriguez's years. Both approaches seem to cost you players.

      Delete
    2. Most schools don't have this policy. michigan's the only one that I know of. It just seems overly rigid.

      I think there is a balance that can be struck between "a commit just means we're your leader" (Rodriguez) and "don't even LOOK at another school ever again" (Hoke). Especially for the kids who commit very early and local kids like Richardson and Dawson.

      Delete
    3. Michigan's not the only school with this policy. I believe USC has the same policy.

      Delete
    4. My understanding is that Hoke encourages prospects to make their visits to other school before they commit to Michigan if they arent' completely sure. I think that is reasonable.

      Delete
    5. USC doesnt at all have this policy, their kids are taking visits left and right. Sua cravens is supposed to visit michigan, and most of their other commits have been taking visits.

      Delete
    6. I do not believe Cravens has scheduled a visit.

      Delete
    7. And Oregon has a no visit policy as well.

      Delete
    8. The no-visit policy makes sense for power programs that fill their classes early. Of course, you couldn't pull it off at a school like Purdue. There is no real advantage for a top program that accepts a commitment from a kid who is still looking around. If Dawson likes Florida more, he is going to switch his pledge anyway. At least Hoke is now spared some three month "evaluation process" where the guy picks Florida in the end.

      Also, shaky commits can still scare away more likely signees or lull coaches into thinking they have the spot filled. For example, imagine if Laquon Treadwell were committed, but wandering. UM would have a lot more difficulty maintaining interest from back-up WR options. The huge benefit of Hoke's approach is that it reduces risk and reduces the amount of time wasted on shaky guys. It also ensures that recruits bleed M&B.

      Delete
  2. Did you see anything from his senior highlights so far that showed he had improved from his junior year or would you still stand by your commitment post?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still stand by my commitment post.

      Delete
  3. I'd take the Canton kid,... Dillard. And the policy is fine, let them search about prior to their commitment, like a marriage, once commited you should stay that way. Those who waiver usually don't last in the long run.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If Hoke is going to use this rigid policy, then he needs to not be turning away guys like Pocic, as decommits seem inevitable this way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Decommitments are ALWAYS inevitable. Show me a top tier coach who never loses commits.

      Delete
    2. The Canton kid, Cameron Dillard is committed to Florida and is accompanying Dawson there this weekend. Dillard is solid to Florida, IMO.

      Delete
  5. Its funny another site quotes him as wanting to face the best d-lineman. The Bug Ten has produced plenty of good lineman on both sides of the ball. Michigan had a history of producing good linemen. I wonder hoe he'll feel when Kugler, Fox, Tuley-Tillman, and Bosch are drafted ahead of him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can I look in your crystal ball when you're finished?

      Delete
  6. Bummer. Is it true that the scholarship offer is revoked? Or is it just that the commitment is broken from both sides, with the potential for reuniting. Maybe since he was committed for so long and already flirted once, the coaches have closed the door. I wonder if there is a little more to the story. Back when he flirted with camping at Florida a couple months ago, one of the other OL commits made some harsh statements about Dawson, which surprised me a bit. Maybe even though he committed, Dawson put off a luke warm vibe UM to the staff and other commits.

    Dawson looked like a good prospect to me, but he would have needed to beat out Bosch and Kalis in all likelihood. Believe it or not, some of those big SEC programs are low on young OL talent and he might have an easier path to starting at a school like LSU or Florida.

    I hope the coaches do not reach on a so-so, interior player just to fill the fifth OL spot. Hoke should consider going after another OT (maybe an under the radar, jumbo TE who is projected to grow) rather than another OG. I have a feeling LTT is going to bust out and having a developmental player would be OK in this situation. My dream would be filling it with another QB, but I know that ain't happening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thomas Wilcher said that the scholarship offer was rescinded.

      Delete
  7. What are Michigan's chances with Laremy Tunsil ? Did he commit elsewhere already?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. That was addressed in the post.

      Delete
  8. Given a choice from the above group Thunder, who'd you pick?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pocic would be tops on my list.

      Delete
    2. On "The M Block," Coach Brown received a response from Ethan Pocic saying, "I'm committed to LSU and that's the only official visit I will be taking."

      He also said that Coach Funk contacted him the same day.


      http://www.themblock.com/2012/10/replacement-for-dawson.html

      Delete
  9. This "no visit" policy is very, very unwise and will hurt teams that end up recruiting against SEC powers. I know from multiple first-hand accounts that this policy turns off a lot of the more talented kids. Dumb policy -- there is a reason why very few major programs employ it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If a player like Dawson is not solidly in our camp, it's best to take steps to fill the spot with someone who is as soon as possible, rather than stay in limbo for a few months, not going after anyone else, only to have him commit somewhere else in mid-January. It may take a few years and a few examples, but word will get around to players that we're not just a safe place to hold a spot while they play musical chairs. When we're putting top 5 teams on the field on a regular basis, kids won't be bailing so easily.

      Delete
    2. Top 5 teams on a regular basis? When is that going to be? C'mon, the landscape of college football is really not going to allow us to be a permanent fixture in the Top 5 like a Alabama or USC. I'm sorry, that's just not going to happen. Once word gets around that Michigan is not "a safe place to hold a spot", it's going to have the precise opposite effect than you think. I'm sorry, but this is a dreadful policy.

      Delete
    3. Hoke seems to be recruiting pretty well with his "stupid" policy. If we only lose one or two kids a year, then what's the difference? If we didn't have this policy, numerous kids would be going on visits and a couple would likely flip anyway. As for Dawson, do you really think he would end up at Michigan if a scholarship offer was still there?

      Delete
    4. Well, don't tell LSU or Oregon either that it's impossible to be in the top 5 on a regular basis. But if you want to make it top 10, whatever. And it does us no good whatsoever to have verbals from kids who aren't done with their decision-making process and solidly in our camp. If this policy keeps players from committing to us if they're going to be waffling or bailing 6 months later, how is that bad? I'm sure it will still happen, like it does to everyone, but what harm does it do to discourage it?

      Delete
  10. It's difficult to be critical of Michigan's recruiting tactics at this point. Obviously their strategies are working.

    But personally, I can't imagine being a HS kid with a lot of options and being circumstantially forced into either committing to a program that I love or taking a once in a lifetime opportunity to go on recruiting trips all over the country. With the recruiting cycle being pushed up so early, that's the reality for many players. . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the thing though. Hoke is not pushing them to commit. He is telling them take your visits and make sure you want to come here before you make that decision. Treadwell is the best example of this policy. He probably would have committed if not for this rule.

      Delete
    2. @Anon

      But some kids ARE being 'forced' to commit. They're holding a spot for Treadwell, but kids like Dawson and Richardson weren't in the same position. In their shoes, the availability of the offer was limited. These are kids that probably would have stuck with Michigan after taking visits elsewhere. (Of course this is conjecture, but as local kids with strong ties to the program, it seems reasonably likely.) Richardson and Dawson both clearly saw the restriction as a negative - they saw themselves as being restricted by a rigid policy, while their peers were taking all-expense paid trips to warm-weather locations to be wined-and-dined. Richardson wasn't willing to give up a chance to go to Michigan to get that, but Dawson was... Losing guys like this (and Pharoh Brown) is disappointing. The benefits and costs of the strategy are difficult to evaluate, but as the 'casualty' list grows, especially at positions like TE and OL, where we have immediate needs in '12 and '13, respectively, Hoke's approach is going to face criticism.

      @Andrew

      I wouldn't say it's obvious that it is working until Hoke wins with his guys. Right now, it's 90% Rodriguez' personnel. I'd say they've proved their coaching chops, but recruiting results are very TBD. Early returns look good though...

      Delete
    3. There's still a long way to go with Hoke's recruits, but guys like Funchess, Ross, Bolden, Rawls, Ojemudia, Norfleet, etc. are already making a fairly large impact. You could throw Bellomy in there, too, if you think he's done well. (I like Bellomy as a long-term prospect, but I just don't think he's ready for the big-time yet.) I think Hoke has done a pretty darn good job of recruiting, and that really has nothing to do with recruiting rankings; that's based on his recruits' performances and my projections for the 2013 class.

      Delete
    4. @Thunder,

      Let me clarify - Recruiting appears to be going well and the freshman and sophomores who Hoke brought in look good in backup roles.

      But, it's not "obvious" that it's working until those guys are leading the team. This team's success is largely based on Denards speed, and Hoke has deemphasized speed. I like where we're headed but projections aren't evidence, let alone proof.

      Delete
    5. @Lanko
      "These kids probably would have stuck with Michigan..." Unless you know Dawson and Richardson personally that is pure speculation. Based on his actions, Dawson regretted his verbal to Michigan and should not have given it. He was not forced to give it, he was competing for a slot with Pocic and other OL candidates and jumped early based on emotion or because he wanted a "safe harbor". It wasn't a negative view of a "restrictive policy" he wants to be at Florida more. Despite the verbal he was not committed to Michigan, if he was he'd still be here.

      We should not be talking about how sad or unfortunate it was that we "lost" Dawson, when we never "had" him to begin with. Better we find out now.
      -UncleFred

      Delete
  11. Re: the "No Visit" policy. Hoke obviously puts a lot of weight on a kid's commitment. He even turns down players at a position if that group is full. If Hoke is willing to stop accepting visits and commitments from players when he receives commitments, then I think it's fair for him to have a similar policy regarding the committed players.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this is the best argument for why the staff should continue this policy.

      Delete
  12. Is there room for Treadwell, Green, and McQuay, or do we definitely need a 5th OL recruit?

    ReplyDelete