* Friday 6 p.m.
The Michigan Daily
Thursday, February 2, 1989
vs. Western Michigan
Friday 7:30 p.m.
Bo adds two
BY MICHAEL SALINSKY
The Michigan football team may have landed the
top players from both Michigan and Ohio yesterday.
Joel (Tony) Blankenship, considered by many the
best football recruit in the state of Michigan, made a
verbal commitment Wednesday to attend Michigan
Sylvester Stanley, an imposing defensive lineman
from Youngstown East High School also committed
verbally to the Wolverines in a much-delayed decision.
Blankenship, a 6-foot-1, 185 pound defensive back
had narrowed down his choices to Michigan, Michigan
State, Colorado, Syracuse and Minnesota. He
intercepted six passes for Detroit Murray-Wright this
season, returning four for touchdowns. He also threw
eight touchdowns as his team's quarterback.
Blankenship, along with Tony McGee, an All-
American tight end who committed last Thursday,
should prove to be a potent 'Tony' combination on
offense and defense.
Great might be a word to describe Michigan's
recruiting class as all the pieces begin to fall into place
one week before the official signing period begins.
Monday, the Wolverines landed their second prep All-
American from the state of Colorado when running
back Burnie Legette announced his intent to sign with
Michigan. Leggett, from Colorado Springs, joins
quarterback Doug Musgrave as the first preps from the
Rocky Mountain State
to come to Ann Arbor in the
Francissus Mills, an offensive lineman from
Detroit St. Martin dePorres, reportedly committed to
Michigan Monday, although the Detroit News claims
that Mills' mother called them earlier that day to tell
them her son had decided in favor of Indiana.
ONES THAT GOT AWAY - Although
Michigan's recruiting class will probably be one of the
best in the land, it could have been in the very upper
echelons if not for three who got away on Tuesday.
While the Wolverines pulled Stanley from Ohio,
they could not do the same with highly-recruited center
Rod Smith from Cleveland St. Joseph High who
committed to Ohio State.
Running back Wagner Lester from Racine,
Wisconsin had told the Daily that he was leaning to
Michigan, but Tuesday agreed to attend Illinois.
Bob Whitfield, an offensive lineman from
Wilmington, California, who Michigan had made an
exhaustive effort for, decided on Stanford
RECRUIT SHOT - Meanwhile, losing a
recruit almost took on a different - and tragic
meaning - when Michael Lewis, an offe'Siva
lineman from Brockton, Massachusets, was shot thre@
times after a traffic altercation. Brockton polico paid
two cars were involved in an on-road dispute. The two
cars stopped and a man in the other car shot Lewis and
his brother. Lewis is in stable condition.
Michigan diver Lee Michaud had an outstanding high
school and college career and now looks to the future.
'M'diver hopes to
go out with bang
BY JODI LEICHTMAN
To anyone involved in athletics this word is quite familiar. For Lee
Michaud it means morning, day, and night.
Michaud, a senior diver gave up other sports during high school to
dedicate his time to diving.
"I had to make a choice and I didn't think I could make it in Big-10
football or basketball," Michaud said. "Diving just seemed the obvious
He left his family behind and moved from his hometown in Oregon
at age 14 to attend school in Mission Viejo, California.
IN ADDITION to the eight varsity letters he earned in high
school, Michaud participated in age-group diving which earned him
"Age-group diving is everyone- up to the age of 18," Michaud said.
"It's basically a junior program to promote divers for possible world
championships, Pan-Am teams or Olympic teams."
Early in his diving career, Michaud dove with '88 Olympian Mark
Bradshaw. Michaud idolized Bradshaw until he saw Bruce Kimball dive.
"It was (Kimball's) last age-group nationals," Michaud said. "I had
'never seen him dive before, but I knew who he was. He's one of the
best divers. I said to myself, 'That's how I want to dive. That's how I
want to be."'
Michigan recruited Michaud, who entered college at 17. He had no
trouble diving, but it took some effort to adapt to schoolwork.
"I came in and I was really cocky. I thought I could do everything
and get away with everything, not really have.-to work at anything. Just
kind of cruise through because that's what I had always just done
before," he said.
"I found out you can't do that. Whether it's competition in classes
or in sports, everybody's good at this level. You really have to work at
THIS SEASON, Michaud has placed first for the one-meter and
three-meter dives in meets against Michigan State, Stanford, and
He's been a Big-10 finalist for three years and competed at the
NCAA's twice. This summer, he missed qualifying for the 1988
Olympic trials by one place.
Michaud's teammates view him not only as a good diver, but as a
"He's really smart," teammate Tim Petche said. "He's an extremely
qualified diver, and if he dives well, so will the rest of the team. He's
One example his teammates did not follow was last year against
MSU when Michaud's knees buckled under him.
"I just lost it for a second. I flew back, landed on the board and
bounced off it into the water. It was embarrassing and I get a lot of
flack about it sometimes," he said.
Blankenship's big day
Is one he'll never forget
BY ADAM SCHEFTER
DETROIT - He strutted
confidently down the high school
hallway yesterday, his clenched fists
moving up and down like a corporate
As the 6-1, 185 pound boy passed
each student, everyone had some-
thing to say.
"Everybody's talking about it."
"What's up big fella?"
"Today's the big day, right?"
THEY all wanted a piece of the
star, the way they would want a
piece of their grandmother's best
It was Joel Blankenship's day. He
was on the way to the library in
Detroit's Murray-Wright High
School to announce which school he
was going to attend next fall. To tell
the world where he would offer his
outstanding football talents.
Already the ladies in the office
working behind their desks were as
excited as a teenager who gets a date
with someone they thought was
The media was beginning to enter
the office to find out where the press
conference was going to be held and
the ladies were only too happy to an-
swer all their questions. Even have a
few answered themself.
"Is Joe going to be as big as
Magic Johnson?" asked one older
lady with glasses, dressed in a red
sweater and black skirt.
"Joel is the nicest boy," said
another, like a doting mother. "He
always walks into the office and
gives me a big kiss and says, 'Good
morning Mrs. Poll.' I just adore
So did college football coaches.
Like the ladies in the office, they too
wanted Blankenship walking into
their offices to wish them good
HE WAS a standout quarterback
and defensive back. On offense last
season, Blankenship completed 60-
of-108 passes for 948 yards and eight
His coach, Earl Moore, remem-
bers one game when Murray-Wright
was down 20 points at the half to
Cass Tech. Blankenship got all his
teammates together in the locker-
room, gave a pep-talk, and led his
team back on to the field for the
second half. They came back to score
three touchdowns to win the game.
As good as Blankenship was on
offense, however, he was more im-
pressive on defense. Playing corner-
back, he made 58 tackles, including
40 solos. He intercepted six passes
and returned four for touchdowns.
He was labeled by the Detroit
Free Press, who polled the recruiting
experts across the country, as the
best defensive player in the Midwest.
Now, he was about to announce his
Two rectangular tables were set
up at the library, in the short stories
section, for the large story. Blank-
enship sat down between his mother
and father, Laverne and Rev. Joseph
T. Blankenship, and across from the
press. With all the students trying to
hear what was being said from the
other side of the room, Blankenship
began to speak.
"This is something," Blankenship
said with a smile, looking at all the
people waiting for his revealing
words. "I.never dreamed-of this., I
never thought I'd have my own press
He told about the schools he con-
sidered. Colorado was the prettiest
place he had ever seen. Michigan and
Michigan State were close to home.
Syracuse had the Carrier Dome. It
was like being in a candy store and
having to chose between a Reese's
Peanut Butter Cup and a Kit Kat.
BUT he made the choice. It was
time to rejoice.
He cited numerous factors. He
said that Michigan had the academic
tradition, which meant a lot to
Blankenship since he has made
honor roll each semester in high
school. He said that he knew that he
would get to go to a bowl game each
year. He said he was influenced when
his friend, tight end Tony McGee
(Terre Haute, Ind.), gave Michigan a
verbal committment last week. He
said Michigan had Bo.
"I said to Joel, if coach (George)
Perles was at Michigan and coach
Schembechler was at Michigan St.,
which school would you go to?"
Joel's father said. "He told me he
would go to Michigan State."
So Blankenship called his new
coach in his office on Monday to let
him know of his intentions. And in
that famous tone of voice, where
words are stretched out to accentuate
their significance, Bo told Blank-
enship, "'You're a Michigan man
When the conference ended, ten of
Blankenship's teammates, as well as
his coach, were waiting to con-
gratulate him. They ran over to him,
exchanged high-fives and hand-
shakes. The photographer asked
everyone to pose for a picture. They
squished into a circle and smiled.
Blankenship's father gazed at his
son and mumbled to his wife, "He's
going to be grinning for days now."
Sure. He made the choice. He's a
ARE A GREAT
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