Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2009 Recruiting update

Here's a list of players still on Michigan's radar. They are listed in the order of their likelihood to pledge their allegiance to Michigan.

Tate Forcier (Michigan commit, enrolled early) - Scripps Ranch, CA
Nader Furrha (enrolled early, preferred walk-on) - Ann Arbor, MI
Austin Dantin - Tallahassee, FL
Denard Robinson - Deerfield Beach, FL
Micah Hyde - Fostoria, OH

Fitzgerald Toussaint (Michigan commit) - Trotwood, OH
Vincent Smith (Michigan commit, enrolled early) - Pahokee, FL

Cameron Gordon (Michigan commit) - Inkster, MI
Teric Jones (Michigan commit) - Detroit, MI
Jeremy Gallon (Michigan commit) - Apopka, FL
Travante Stallworth (Auburn commit) - Leesville, LA
Je'Ron Stokes (Tennessee commit) - Philadelphia, PA
Terrell Mitchell - Powder Springs, GA
Terence Davis - Fremont, OH
Willie Haulstead (Florida State commit) - Titusville, FL


Taylor Lewan (Michigan commit) - Scottsdale, AZ
Michael Schofield (Michigan commit) - Orland Park, IL
Marcus Hall - Cleveland, OH
Quinton Washington - St. Stephen, SC
Travis Bond - Windsor, NC
Henry Conway - Cleveland, OH

Anthony Lalota (Michigan commit, enrolled early) - Princeton, NJ
Craig Roh (Michigan commit) - Scottsdale, AZ
Sam Montgomery - Greenwood, SC
Bennie Logan - Coushatta, LA

William Campbell (Michigan commit, enrolled early) - Detroit, MI
Pearlie Graves (Michigan commit) - Tulsa, OK
DeQuinta Jones (Michigan commit) - Bastrop, LA

Brandin Hawthorne (Michigan commit, enrolled early) - Pahokee, FL
Barkevious Mingo - West Monroe, LA
Willie Ferrell - Tallahassee, FL

Justin Turner (Michigan commit) - Massillon, OH
Adrian Witty - Deerfield Beach, FL
Dennis Thames - Louisville, MS
Mike Edwards - Cleveland, OH
Dale Peterman - Youngstown, OH

Mike Jones (Michigan commit, enrolled early) - Orlando, FL
Isaiah Bell (Michigan commit) - Youngstown, OH
Thomas Gordon (Michigan commit) - Detroit, MI
Vladimir Emilien (Michigan commit) - Plantation, FL

Brendan Gibbons (Michigan commit) - West Palm Beach, FL

Monday, January 12, 2009

Official visit schedule (update)

These are the players confirmed to be visiting Ann Arbor in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day (February 4, 2009):

January 9-11
Cameron Gordon - WR/LB (committed to Michigan)
Barkevious Mingo - OLB/DE
Sam Montgomery - DE
Marcus Hall - OT
Michael Schofield - OT (committed to Michigan)
Denard Robinson - ATH
Adrian Witty - CB
Travante Stallworth - QB/WR

January 16-18
Jeremy Gallon - WR (committed to Michigan)
Bennie Logan - DE
Je'Ron Stokes - WR (soft commit to Tennessee)
Brendan Gibbons - K (committed to Michigan)

January 23-25
Dennis Thames - CB/S
DeQuinta Jones - DT (committed to Michigan)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Avery Horn, ex-Wolverine

Avery Horn, a Californa kid who just finished his redshirt freshman season at Michigan, has decided to transfer to a school closer to home. Horn was a smallish running back recruited by Lloyd Carr, but he was probably destined to spend most of his career sitting on the bench except for an occasional kickoff return. Horn returned five kickoffs in 2008 for 108 yards, but he didn't see a single offensive snap.

I was actually somewhat excited to see Horn play in the spread option offense. He's fast and quick, but rumors out of practices suggested that he was slow to pick up the offense. With Kevin Grady, Brandon Minor, and Carlos Brown scheduled to run out of eligibility after 2009, Horn might have earned some playing time for 2010 and 2011. But when a kid is such a long way from home and not sniffing the field, I suppose that can get pretty depressing.

No indication has been given of what school Horn will attend. If he transfers to another FBS school, he'll have to sit out the 2009 season and then he'll have two years of eligibility remaining. I don't think Horn will ever make it to the NFL, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him putting up decent numbers for a WAC team or even a Pac-10 team in the next couple years.

Carson Butler, ex-Wolverine

Tight end-turned-defensive end Carson Butler has decided to forego his fifth year at Michigan and see what the NFL has in store for him. My guess? Not much. Butler is a supremely talented athlete who secured the starting tight end job in 2007. He false started and/or held on every other play, but when you're 6'5" and fast, you get to play anyway.

According to rumors, Butler butted heads with Rich Rodriguez and his coaching staff. After making a couple nice catches early in the 2008 season, he was relegated to the bench in favor of Mike Massey and true freshman Kevin Koger. He made a midyear switch to defensive end and played significant time against Purdue, even though he continually got pushed backward by the offensive lineman opposite him. After the Ohio State game, internet reports swirled that Carson Butler challenged Rich Rodriguez to a fight on the sideline during the game.

This is probably a win-win-win situation. Michigan's team won't be held back by locker room cancers and false start penalties. Rodriguez will have one less headache to worry about. And Carson Butler will avoid being savaged by Mike Barwis' pack of angry pet wolves.

I would be surprised if an NFL team took a chance on Butler in the draft. He may latch on somewhere as a rookie free agent until he pisses off the coaching staff of whatever practice squad he's on. Finesse tight ends usually linger toward the top of the depth chart, and Butler isn't ready to be an NFL starter. Considering his aversion to blocking - which is where many unheralded tight ends have to make their mark - I don't think he has a future at the next level.

Bowl Prediction: National Championship

Prediction record so far: 5-5

Florida vs. Oklahoma

My experience with college football streaks is that those streaks tend to disappear in bowl games. Oklahoma has scored 60+ points in six straight games to end the season. That won't happen again. While I don't think Florida will shut down Oklahoma completely, I've been impressed by SEC defenses so far this bowl season, particularly Ole Miss' defense. Ole Miss largely shut down another Big 12 offensive juggernaut in Texas Tech.

Even without running back Demarco Murray, Oklahoma has plenty of offensive weapons. Chris Brown ran for over 1,100 yards. Quarterback Sam Bradford passed for 48 TD's and only 6 INT's. Six Oklahoma receivers had over 395 yards.

But Florida has plenty of weapons itself. Percy Harvin, Jeff Demps, Chris Rainey, Louis Murphy. Oh yeah, and Tim Tebow. Oklahoma has a record-setting offense, but the difference will be Florida's defense. The Gators have more speed than anyone Oklahoma has played so far this year, and this will be defensive coordinator Charlie Strong's stepping stone up to a college head coaching position.

Prediction: Florida 38, Oklahoma 31

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Jay Crawford is objective

ESPN First Take anchor Jay Crawford took a jab at Michigan this morning. When discussing last night's Fiesta Bowl result (Texas scored a late TD to beat Ohio State, 24-21), Crawford asked Michigan graduate and co-anchor Dana Jacobson, "Honestly, when Texas scored last night, did you give a fist pump or did you throw something?"

Dana Jacobson said, "I was like, 'Yeah.' What do you expect?"

Crawford responded with, "When Michigan's in a bowl game - and maybe they forgot what it's like..." He was probably going to continue with, "I root for Michigan because they're in the Big Ten."

Crawford is obviously an Ohio State fan. He acts like he's an alum, but he was born in Sandusky, OH, and graduated from Bowling Green State University. But a guy who should be an objective host of a sports show shouldn't be bashing anyone; that's what Skip Bayless, Rob Parker, the Stewart brothers, etc. are for.

On top of that, this was Michigan's first year missing a bowl bid in 34 years. Crawford was nine years old the last time Michigan missed a bowl. When was the last time in that span that Ohio State missed out on a bowl? Way back in 1999. And 1994. And 1988. And 1987. Michigan's been going to bowl games since before Jay Crawford grew pubic hair.

Monday, January 5, 2009

2004 Recruiting: Tight Ends and Wide Receivers

The recruiting class of 2004 has run out of eligibility. It's sad to see some of these guys go. Others...not so much. Here's part two of a breakdown of the 2004 recruiting class.

Wide Receivers

Adrian Arrington: 6'4", 180 lbs. - Cedar Rapids, IA - Rivals: ****
Arrington was a strong contributor to Michigan's team for a couple years. He played as a true freshman but then suffered an injury that caused him to redshirt as a sophomore. When he returned in 2006, he was the second option in the passing game to Mario Manningham. Arrington reminded many Michigan fans of the steady stream of big, athletic receivers at Michigan - Amani Toomer, Mercury Hayes, David Terrell, Marquis Walker, etc. He had the athleticism and the big play ability of those players, but never passed Manningham for team supremacy. Quarterback Chad Henne often looked to Arrington on fades and jump balls near the end zone, and Arrington responded with excellent, acrobatic catches. He would have been the #1 receiver in 2008 if he had waited around, but he was scared off by the graduation of Henne and the transfer of Ryan Mallett to Arkansas. Without an established quarterback to throw him the ball when he would have been a senior, Arrington took a chance on the NFL and was drafted in the seventh round.
Career statistics: 100 receptions, 1285 yards, 14 TD's

Doug Dutch: 5'11", 204 lbs. - Bowie, MD - Rivals: ****
Dutch was rather highly regarded coming out of high school, ranking as the #10 wide receiver and #98 player overall for Rivals. Unfortunately for Michigan fans, Dutch never became a significant contributor. He redshirted as a freshman and then spent two years attempting to become a reliable wide receiver. He caught four passes for 34 yards as a redshirt freshman and returned a couple punts for nine yards that same year. Going into the 2007 season, Dutch accepted a position switch to cornerback due to Michigan's shortage of defensive backs. He made one tackle against Notre Dame in 2007 but played sparingly for the rest of his career. Simply based on his recruiting ranking, Dutch was one of the biggest few disappointments of the Carr recruiting years.
Career statistics: 4 receptions, 34 yards; 2 punt returns, 9 yards; 1 solo tackle

Keston Cheathem: 6'3", 195 lbs. - Pomona, CA - Rivals: ***
Cheathem was recruited as Rivals' #44 wide receiver. Cheathem lasted only one season in Ann Arbor after being converted to safety. He then returned closer to home and played at Fresno City Community College for two seasons before transferring again to Bowling Green State University. He played two seasons at BGSU, but caught only two passes for 32 yards.
Career stats (at Michigan): None.

Position grade: C+. In a traditional Michigan offense, Arrington could have been the reincarnation of Marquis Walker or Jason Avant. Michigan did a good job of getting him on board and he would have been great, if not for the change in offensive philosophy. Cheathem turned out to be a wasted scholarship, and Dutch was only slightly better than that.

Tight Ends

Mike Massey: 6'4", 225 lbs. - Cleveland, OH - Rivals: ****
Massey was the #5 strongside defensive end in the 2004 class, but Michigan used him at tight end from day one. But when I say "used him," I mean they put him on the field occasionally throughout his career but really didn't do anything with him. Perhaps Massey would have served himself and the team better by being kept at defensive end. He was always a little too tentative to be a good blocker and lacked the speed and agility to be a areal threat in the passing game. He was beaten out by the hot-headed and mistake-prone Carson Butler and the 2008 true freshman Kevin Koger and tallied only 20 receptions throughout his career. Mike's older brother, Pat, was a captain of the Michigan squad in 2005, but neither player really stood out as an excellent football player; both were respected for their leadership, though. And all the girlies think Mike is hot, so there's that.
Career statistics: 20 receptions, 161 yards, 2 TD's

Position grade: C-. The class did produce a starter, but that position was generally considered a weakness and was eventually lost.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

2004 Recruiting: Offensive Backfield

The recruiting class of 2004 has run out of eligibility. It's sad to see some of these guys go. Others...not so much. Here's the beginning of a breakdown of the 2004 recruiting class.


Chad Henne: 6'2", 210 lbs. - West Lawn, PA - Rivals: *****
Henne was the prize of the 2004 recruiting class. Ranked #13 overall by Rivals, he was the second-best recruit from Pennsylvania...behind Anthony Morelli. Henne came to Michigan and started from Day 1 of his freshman season. The presumed starter, Matt Gutierrez, hurt his shoulder and couldn't be the player Michigan expected. Henne came in and immediately started chucking the ball to senior Braylon Edwards, providing Edwards with the opportunities to win the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's best receiver. Henne continued to improve through his junior year. He hit a speed bump as a senior, playing poorly against Appalachian State and Oregon before injuring his knee. He ended his career as Michigan's leading passer in many categories, but he went 0-4 against Ohio State, which hurt his legacy. The Miami Dolphins picked him with their 2nd round pick in 2008.
Career stats: 828/1387, 59.7% completions, 87 TD's, 37 INT's

Position Grade: A. Michigan got perhaps the school's all-time best passer and a four-year starter.

Running Back

Max Martin - 6'2", 210 lbs. - Madison, AL - Rivals: ****
In a relatively weak running back class, Martin was the #15 running back behind a bunch of no-names other than Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch. Still, it was hoped that Max Martin could step in for the graduated Chris Perry and contribute alongside senior David Underwood. Both Martin and Underwood were beaten out by another no-name kid. Martin played at Michigan for two years, rushing for only 358 yards. Seeking more playing time, he transferred to Alabama. Alabama didn't like his attitude, so Martin transferred to Alabama State. He's probably working in a shoelace factory now. Seen as a savior for the position, he quickly faded into anonymity.
Career stats (at Michigan): 85 carries, 358 yards, 3 TD's

Michael Hart - 5'10", 175 lbs. - Syracuse, NY - Rivals: ***
Okay, Hart was listed at 5'10", but the only way he was 5'10" coming out of high school was if he contracted progeria as a freshman at Michigan. We all know how this turned out, though. The undersized, unheralded running back became perhaps Michigan's greatest running back ever. Since he didn't have much speed, he used superior vision, balance, and cutting ability to become the all-time leading Wolverine rusher and a 4th round selection by the Indianapolis Colts.
Career stats: 1015 carries, 5040 yards, 41 TD's

Roger Allison - 6'2", 230 lbs. - Lake Orion, MI - Rivals: ***
Allison was the #9 fullback coming out of high school, behind players such as Peyton Hillis (recently seen playing tailback for the Denver Broncos) and Jordan Dizon (a 2007 second round pick by the Detroit Lions as a linebacker). Going into 2005 Allison was thought to be the leader for the fullback job. But a career-ending nerve injury prevented him from ever playing for the Wolverines. Mark Moundros has done an excellent job at fullback, but if Allison had remained healthy after redshirting in 2004, he may have been Michigan's version of Owen Schmitt in Rich Rodriguez's offense.
Career stats: None

Position Grade: A. It would have been nice to get a second contributor, but getting the school's all-time leading rusher makes for a pretty good haul.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Army All-American Game analysis

The East team beat the West in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl this afternoon, 30-17. I predicted a West victory, but Tajh Boyd must have been angered by my prediction and threw three touchdowns to prove me wrong.

(I hope you know the meaning of sarcasm.)

Most Impressive Offensive Player
Tie: Tajh Boyd, QB, and Bryce Brown, RB (East team)
Boyd didn't start the game, but he was the best quarterback for either team. He completed 7-of-9 passes for 187 yards and 3 TD's. That's an average of 20+ yards per attempt. One throw was a questionable decision where Boyd threw into double coverage to Corey Brown. Luckily, Corey Brown was wearing his Superman underpants and outleaped both defenders to make an excellent catch in the end zone. Running back Bryce Brown was named co-MVP of the game with Boyd after catching a 60-yard and 41-yard TD passes. Bryce Brown looked like the fastest player on the field and he outran linebackers on both TD catches to get open. He also looked elusive and powerful when running the ball.

Most Impressive Defensive Player
Willie Downs, SS
Downs is an athlete committed to Florida State. He hadn't played defense for his entire senior year before practice this week, but the shortage of defensive backs on the East team necessitated a move from receiver to safety. Downs turned out to be the best defensive player on either team. He intercepted a first quarter pass by AJ McCarron and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown. He also had at least one pass deflection and forced a fumble, along with making several tackles.

Analysis of Michigan Commits

William Campbell, DT
I was thoroughly disappointed in Campbell's performance. He's a better player than what he showed in this game. He started at defensive tackle and played sparingly subbing for Xavier Nixon at left offensive tackle. He consistently stood straight up at defensive tackle and played pattycake with the offensive guard before trying to chase down the play. Campbell might have been able to knock around the average high school lineman with a forearm shiver or two, but you can't do that with elite players. His effort was subpar. It was a meaningless game in the sense that nobody really cares who wins these all-star games; nonetheless, it showed that he didn't take the game seriously, which brings his discipline and competitive drive into question. He seems like a good teammate and a good kid, so I think he'll do fine at Michigan. But it does scare me a little bit because former highly touted, mammoth defensive linemen at Michigan (Alan Branch, Gabe Watson) have been guilty of taking too many plays off.

Jeremy Gallon, WR
Gallon received rave reviews early in the week for his ability to get open and create plays for himself. Unfortunately, he sustained a bit of a groin pull in the middle of the week that hampered him for the remainder of the week's practices. That injury might have prevented him from seeing significant playing time in the game, because Jake Golic and Orson Charles both saw extended time in the slot, and neither of them is a typical slot receiver. Still, Gallon caught a 34-yard pass through a tight window from Tajh Boyd and made an excellent special teams tackle. He will likely be a contributor as a freshman in 2009, returning kicks, working from the slot, or both.

Anthony Lalota, DE
I am not very impressed by Lalota's skills. He's a recent convert to football, having not played until his junior year of high school. So significant improvement may still be forthcoming. However, he is very raw as a defensive end and usually tries to beat offensive tackles by bull rushing with 100% effort. I love the effort and that hard work could turn him into a very good player, but at 6'6" and 260 lbs., he reminds me of former Michigan player Pat Massey, which is generally not considered to be a good thing by Michigan fans. As far as I saw, he didn't make any plays in the game, and I wouldn't expect him to play significantly at Michigan for at least a couple years.

Justin Turner, CB
Turner already has a college body and college skills. I'm encouraged by what I saw today. He did get beaten for a touchdown by Patrick Patterson, but he had excellent coverage on that play and Patterson made a highlight reel, leaping, one-handed catch. Turner later had an acrobatic interception to go along with a half dozen tackles or so. He'll be ready to contribute in the fall, most likely as a slot corner or a safety.

Brendan Gibbons, K
Gibbons had a mercurial performance today. His first kickoff was short; his second kickoff was excellent. His first extra point squeezed just inside the post; his first field goal attempt split the uprights. A 46-yard field goal attempt was about as wide right as you can get. He also had an extra point attempt blocked. One thing I noticed on the blocked field goal was that he was shuffling his feet when he was waiting for the snap. I'm not sure if that was out of nervousness, a bad habit he has, or something he was coached to do. But it didn't seem like he was ready to be moving when the ball was snapped, which slowed down his approach by a split second. The kick might have still been blocked, but either way, Gibbons has some things to work on. He does have a strong leg, though, which is a great building block.

William Campbell, Wolverine

A collective sigh of relief blew through the internet when William Campbell re-committed to Michigan during the Army All-American Bowl this afternoon. He had committed to Michigan during his junior year but then decommitted in the fall of 2008 in order to take visits elsewhere. One prevailing theory for his decommitment was that he wanted to get free trips to see other parts of the country. His adventures out of the way, he picked a Michigan hat off the table instead of LSU, who had made a late push, and Miami.

Campbell is 6'5" and 317 lbs. and a very good athlete for his size. Several schools were recruiting Campbell to play offensive line, but he will most likely be a defensive tackle for the Wolverines.

Rivals: *****, #3 defensive tackle, #25 player overall
Scout: *****, #4 defensive tackle, #35 player overall

Campbell's position might depend on what defensive scheme Rich Rodriguez chooses to use in 2009. If Rodriguez chooses to use a base 3-3-5 defense, Campbell would mostly play nose tackle and split time with Mike Martin as a true freshman. If Rodriguez selects a defensive coordinator with a base 4-3 scheme, I think Campbell will start as a 3-tech defensive tackle. He and Campbell are both ideal nose tackles, but with two such talents on the defensive line - and very little depth behind them, with Renaldo Sagesse and two other incoming freshmen - Campbell is a better fit as a 3-tech than Martin would be. With Brandon Graham returning at one defensive end and two defensive tackles who could command consistent double teams, that could make for a dynamic defensive line. Barring injury, Campbell should be a three- or four-year starter.

Bowl Predictions: January 3

Prediction record so far: 4-4
The New Year's Day bowls went well, but yesterday was full of surprises. With wins over Florida and Texas Tech, Ole Miss has a couple signature wins going forward. And Utah? Wow.

International Bowl: Buffalo vs. Connecticut
Buffalo is on the upswing, but UConn will be too much. Donald Brown is going to get a ton of yards against Buffalo and the Huskies' defense is too strong.
Prediction: UConn 28, Buffalo 13

Army All-American Bowl: East vs. West
I'd like to pick the East because all four Michigan commits (Jeremy Gallon, Justin Turner, Anthony Lalota, Brendan Gibbons) play on that side. But looking at the West roster, it just seems like there's too much talent there, especially at the offensive skill positions. If Tyrik Rollison and the rest of the West quarterbacks can be accurate with the football, that offense should be explosive.
Prediction: West 21, East 14

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bowl Predictions: January 2

Prediction record so far: 4-1

Cotton Bowl: Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss
The only way Ole Miss will win this game is if Texas Tech has a giant letdown. If the Red Raiders are too worried about how they got dissed from the Big 12 championship game and the national championship, then Ole Miss might be able to stick with them. Texas Tech has a good argument for being in the national championship game; Ole Miss doesn't.
Prediction: Texas Tech 41, Ole Miss 14

Liberty Bowl: Kentucky vs. East Carolina
Kentucky is an up and down team. Much like Maryland, they put up good fights against good teams and then play poorly against bad ones. I think this will be a close game, but the Pirates will pull it out in the end.
Prediction: East Carolina 20, Kentucky 16

Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Utah
Utah's quality wins this year are Oregon State, Air Force, and TCU. They beat Oregon State and TCU by three points each and Air Force by seven. Some people have been touting their signature win as the game against Michigan, but Michigan finished 3-9 and only lost by two points. Meanwhile, Alabama trounced much better teams than those. Utah is a decent team, but once again, they'll need an emotional letdown from Alabama to have a good chance. I don't expect the final score to be competitive.
Prediction: Alabama 30, Utah 10

Thursday, January 1, 2009

1998 Rose Bowl: Michigan vs. Washington State

This game was the crowning moment for Michigan fans in this generation. Also, nobody liked Ryan Leaf except Chargers GM Bobby Beathard, so it was nice to see him lose.

New Year's Day Bowl Predictions

Outback Bowl: South Carolina vs. Iowa
I've watched South Carolina a few times this year, and I haven't come away impressed. Iowa has Shonne Green, so they should be able to at least do one thing efficiently. I don't think I can say the same thing about South Carolina.
Prediction: Iowa 24, South Carolina 20.

Gator Bowl: Nebraska vs. Clemson
Clemson should win this game. They have more talent, and they have a lot of players who might want to use this opportunity to show off their talents to a large TV audience (and NFL scouts). I think Bo Pelini is an excellent coach and will have his team - especially his defense - ready to play. But it's too much of an uphill battle.
Prediction: Clemson 31, Nebraska 17

Capital One Bowl: Georgia vs. Michigan State
The Big Ten is 0-3 in bowl games so far this season. And even though I predicted an Iowa victory above, I don't see MSU beating Georgia. Matt Stafford is going to have an excellent day throwing the ball; Brian Hoyer won't. Both Javon Ringer and Knowshown Moreno will have good days, so that will be a wash.
Prediction: Georgia 34, Michigan State 24

Rose Bowl: Penn State vs. Southern California
Once again, the Big Ten will fall. USC has clobbered Big Ten opponents in recent years (Michigan and Ohio State included). Southern Cal is basically playing a home game. There's too much talent at USC, especially on defense, where they're averaging only 7.8 points allowed per game. Penn State will score more than that, but not much.
Prediction: USC 42, Penn State 13

Orange Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Cincinnati won the Big East, which I generally don't view to be a big deal, unless the Big East's top team is West Virginia. Brian Kelly is an excellent coach, but his team isn't being quarterbacked by Pat White, so I'm going with the Hokies. Virginia Tech has a good freshman running back in Darren Evans and a couple guys in the defensive backfield who will cause some turnovers.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 24, Cincinnati 20

I just wanna dance!

If you want inside info, here it is. This is what happens when Army All-Americans get together:

William Campbell was just about the only East team member willing to get out there and dance. I like that. He's not afraid of competition. Where was Anthony Lalota, though? We should all know by now that when you're looking for a good dancer, you should never overlook the 6'6", 260 lb. white guy.

Also, there was this:

Campbell looked pretty agile and showed pretty good hands...for a 6'4", 315 lb. defensive tackle. He definitely looked more athletic than fellow DT Chris Davenport. I guess that's why Campbell is #25 on the Rivals 100 and Davenport is a lowly #26.