TJBlog: Post-Camp Review

Forcier-Newsome. Will Campbell. Offers? Cam-Gordon a LB? Camp talent level. No-shows. One Day vs Week-long Camps. Barwis and the weight room. The overall Coach Rod vibe. Eleven post-camp topics in all for this AM's TJBlog.

TJBlog: Post-Camp Review

1. Will Campbell. He worked out both at OL and DL in the afternoon. Will has told us over and over that he does not care which side of the ball he plays on for Michigan ... again I say (this this is not IMO), it'll be a friendly Tall-Frey battle for the kid ... Will could be, should be, an AA either way (Will Will-be, not Will-he-be, assuming he will be healthy) He's one of the top ten high-schoolers in the country, and maybe numero-uno.

2. Cameron Gordon. Those who say he was 'a LB in the afternoon' simply weren't there for most of the time. As I said, Cameron got a special LB workout with Hopson for about 30 minutes right after lunch, then went back to WR for the QB-WR-DB drills - where he did very well - he was the best WR in the afternoon. Gordon's uncle stressed to us that they didn't care where Cameron played ... Cameron himself expressed a little surprised to us at the LB-tryout.

3. As far as no-shows; Thomas Gordon, Charles Chapman ... look for them during the long-camp next week. As well as Dennis Thames. Hopefully Dior Mathis.

4. Rodriguez told us-GBW'ers that next year he plans to do several of these one-day camps .. this is really the way the biz is going IMO, to 1-day camps, with the Southern schools leading the way in this regard. Kids only have to pay $50-ish for a one-day thing (versus hundreds for the all-week affair), and, besides, one day is all it takes for a staff to evaluate someone. It's really a non-academics-Junior-Day-plus-evaluation/workout, which is really useful. Besides, even the traditional week-long U-M Camp was having more and more of the top kids just pop in for a day or even 1/2 day. The longer camp thing may go more towards a younger-kid-thing, and -- my IMO now -- may transition into something for really younger kids and/or be shortened (it already had been shortened a day by Carr-n-co.) and/or even be phased out altogether.

5. Barwis. It's fun, and impressive, to see how active a role he takes ... how integrated he is into this recruiting/camp process. A chunk of time was allotted for him to demo the weight room to the kids ... and the whole weight room area stayed completely open to parents (and us) this whole time - another big (BIG, and IMO symbolic) change. Barwis is a truly nice man, and deserves the minor-celeb role he suddenly finds himself in (and he is not online so he is almost-totally unaware of this as well). He loves his job, loves the kids -- loves all of it. He's a 100%-er.

6. Regarding the weight room. Barwis told us-GBW'ers that part of the new indoor facility IS being allotted for additional weight room space -- this was asked for by Barwis and given to him ... it'll adjoin the existing weight room area. He has a large staff and needs office space for them, and he wants quickie-training facilities for any weight room injuries. He has magically semi-transformed the old area with the new equipment spaced further apart and with some stylish-classy accoutrements (incl. juice bar which we'd heard about but it was fun to see it) ... even tho the low-ish ceilings (especially in an older storage-room-area part or the weight room that had been opened up in an earlier 'weight room expansion') still create a little bit of a, lets say, old-school ambience altho 1000% better than before ... "the new-additional-area" being added will be more open with higher ceilings we were told, which will help in this regard (the WVA weight room is better than old-U's ...)

7. Parts of the day also went for a RR-led trip to the Big House of course, and for a tour of Schembechler Hall, which gave the kids a break from hot-muggy Oosterbaan on this hot-muggy warm-front day (altho the Nick Ash family and I joked yesterday and this AM again about the 'just typical Texas summer-weather').

8. As far as the Forcier-Newsome thing. The Newsomes knew in advance that Tate was camping this day ... and right now Newsome is "The Commit," and Tate is not. It is way-waaayyyy overreaching to say Newsome is, in any way whatsoever, 'history'; and it is 100% inaccurate to say that Forcier's appearance would in any way be a cause of any possible Newsome indecision. Trust me on this -- this is 100% solid-fact. And whatever happens going forward BTW-FYI -- U-M is in good shape.

9. Offers. This whole day was filmed, and the whole staff will spend today watching the film and deciding what to do regarding offers (Forcier already came in with an offer obviously, as well as Teric and Will). We'll stick with that we semi-sorta-predicted last night (and we'll be completely open to surprises as well). We don't think anyone is a complete 100.00% slam-dunk for an offer, however:
-- closest thing to slam dunk IMO: Cameron Gordon
-- second closest IMO may just be OL Adam Gress
-- WR Tehvyn Brantley, OL Sean Cascarano, DB Bradley McDougald have good shots IMO.
-- RB Zurlon Tipton has a decent shot IMO.
-- some of the offers could possibly come more 'down the road', and all of the kids we evaluated for you last night 'including 40s/stats' have at least somewhat decent shots, if not now them maybe down the long-n-winding recruiting-road that leads to the "Those who stay will be Champions" door.

10. BTW, a new-U coach who'd been with R-R in West Virginia told us-GBW'ers, "We're used to taking 1 and 2 star kids and making them into top players (the implication being, with Barwis' help, etc). So a LOT of the kids here today (implying - even tho most were of the 2-3 star variety rather than 4-5 star) would have made us very excited at West Virginia." This remark's overall over implication being -- these coaches who came over with R-R are kids-in-candy-shop-ish about being able to take the 4-5 star kids (and, yes, 3-star-ers too natch) now fairly-readily-available to them as U-M coaches, and molding THEM. There is tremendous excitement over this with the former-WVA-guys, I cannot overemphasize this ... 'gleams-in-their-eyes' ...

11. Leading the afternoon QB-WR-DB drills -- Mr. Head-Coach Rodriguez. Hands-on is such a complete change. And the vibe he puts out -- tremendous, positive, high-energy, up-beat ... "tremendous," as a famous former coach would say.

Overall, for hopless-fanatic-guys like us-GBW'ers ... these camp days are the best days of our lives. And, I'll add one final thing: so far, at this early pre-preseason juncture, every single change we've observed with new-U-M: tremendous.

Photos, and interviews, coming today ...

The Michigan Insider Top Stories