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February 04, 2008 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-02-04

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2B - February 4, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

The uh
The Terrelle Pryor saga finally
ends Wednesday.
Well, maybe.
Pryor, the
dual-threat I
quarterback
andthenation's
No. 1 recruit [
according to
both Rivals.
com and Scout.
com, is expect- SCOTT
ed make his BELL
college deci-
sion on Nation-
al Signing Day,
just two days from now.
Reports coming from his home-
town of Jeannette, Pa., say that
decision may be delayed to allow
him to make a last-minute campus
visit or two.
Still, whether it's in the next
few days or the next few weeks,
Pryor's choice is quickly creep-
ing up on us. And according to the
recruiting gurus, the decision will
drastically change the landscape
of Michigan football for the next
four years.
But can the one 18-year-old-
kid's choice really have that much
of an impact on a program?
Quarterback U's favorite son
didn't have the hype:
Tom Brady, the say-no-wrong,
do-no-wrong (well, most of the
time) quarterback is a proud prod-
uct of the University of Michigan.
Even though he couldn't top the
three Super Bowl ring mark last
night, the reigning NFL MVP is
already considered one of the best
quarterbacks ever. You already
knew that.
But what may surprise you
is that Brady's likely star rating
wouldn't have exceeded the three
mark, either.
Brady played before the era of
Rivals.com and Scout.com recruit-
ing ratings, but he was far from
the five-star mold his successor
Drew Henson entered Michigan
with.
Nobody expected much from
the under-the-radar California
kid who was destined toubea tran-
sition guy stuck between national
championship-winningBrian Gri-
ese and the wunderkind Henson.
But the sixth-round NFL Draft
pick who was supposed to com-
pete for the privilege to back up
Drew Bledsoe in New England
quickly became the star.
Not exactly the most-traveled
path to NFL immortality, but
whatever works, right?
Henson's two extra recruiting
stars likely aren't worth as much
as Brady's rings, or the spot in
Canton that's already cordoned
off for Tom Terrific.

ure is more than one man Freshman's perfect
score caps 'M' win

By NICOLE AUERBACH
Daily Sports 14riter
YPSILANTI - 10.0. The elusive
perfect score.
When freshman Kylee Botter-
man, the final Michigan vaulter,
stuck her dismount to seal the vic-
tory in the State of Michigan Clas-
sic, the rest of the fifth-ranked
Wolverines sprinted to her, scream-
ing and pumping their fists.
One of the judges displayed a
10.0 score, jolting the small crowd
of Michigan parents to their feet.
Michigan's first perfect score of
the season closed out the team's
dominating 196.800-point perfor-
mance against Central Michigan,
Eastern Michigan, Western Michi-
gan and Michigan State.
"The energy on vault was just
amazing," junior Huneth Lor said.
"Everyone was just hitting and hit-
ting - it was amazing."
Michigan closed the door shut
on the competition with five stuck
dismounts on vault, on its way to
the fifth-highest team vault score
in program history.
Coming into the final event,
Michigan had a comfortable lead
of almost a full point over the four
intra-state teams. Only No. 24
Michigan State, defending cham-
pion, pulled within two and a half
points of the Wolverines' season-
high score.
Even with less-than-stellar con-
ditions - bad lighting, a soft floor
and a hostile away crowd - Mich-
igan's gymnasts brought their
own energy and enthusiasm to the
mas

"This was a hard meet for us to
get up for," Michigan coach Bev
Plocki said. "I talked to the girls
ahead of time saying, 'You have to
have the energy, you have to focus.
Great teams will make adjustments.
You make it work."'
The Wolverines nailed every
routine despite last-minute lineup
changes due to injuries.
Junior Becky Bernard and senior
Katie Lieberman took the weekend
off with minor injuries. Bernard,
the Big Ten leader in bars and
beam, tried a beam dismount in
warmups, but her knee was "hurt-
ing and pinching," Plocki said.
Freshman Trish Wilson and
Junior Tatjana Thuener-Rego
replaced Bernard just prior to the
events. Both substitutes performed
solid routines.
"If one person isn't competing,
we always have another person to
jump in," Lor said. "We did it a lot
last year, so it's nothing new for
us."
After the meet, there was some-
thing else familiar - a slew of
awards.
Fifth-year senior Lindsey Bruck
captured her second-consecutive
and ninth-career all-around title
with a score of 39.375. A Wolver-
ine won each event, and Michigan
swept the vault awards entirely.
With just one home meet this
month, Michigan looks to build off
of its success in an unfamiliar envi-
ronment.
"I couldn't be any happier,"
Plocki said. "This is very impor-
tant for us to have this kind of away
score."

4

4

Football recruit Terrelle Pryor is expected to make his widely anticipated collegiate,
native is highly sought after by both Michigan and Ohio State.
Coming down to the wire: For every out-of-the-park home
Hype doesn't always pan out, run, there's a pop up that doesn't
but it's there for a reason, and leave the infield.
Pryor has certainly earned all the Or more literally, for every Tim
media attention. Tebow or Vince Young, there's a
The quarterback's measurables Kyle Wright or Rhett Bomar.
alone are enough to make grown Having a bunch of stars next to
men (read: college coaches) drool, your name as a high-school pros-
or travel halfway across the coun- pect doesn't necessarily guaran-
try with practically their entire tee you'll become a star.
coaching staff to take in his high Need local proof? Need recent
school basketball game. proof? How about Ryan Mallett?
But Rich Rodriguez and Jim Michigan's latest five-star com-
Tressel didn't make that trip this mitment had more fumbled snaps
weekend just to confirm he's 6- than games won. He bolted from
foot-6 or 235 pounds. Ann Arbor after just one year.
They wanted to see his 4.4 Mallett isn't the only recent
speed in person. They wanted to blue chipper not to realize his
witness the freakish athlete put up potential, though. Far from it.
a near triple-double in his "other" Kevin Grady and Carlos Brown
sport. They wanted to show Pryor were both highly touted running
how important he was to them by backs coming out of high school.
stuffing a good portion of their Grady had the misfortune of tear-
staffs into a stuffy high school ing his ACL last year and both
gymnasium. backs have been stuck behind
For one of the two coaches, the Mike Hart (a three-star recruit).
efforts will likely pay dividends. But those excuses don't explain
Most experts predict it's down to the fumbling issues both have bat-
the two Big Ten rivals. tIed at certain times during their
Does Pryor's signature, already Michigan careers.
going for hundreds on eBay, guar- That isn't saying neither will
antee one team the upper hand succeed at Michigan - Brown's
in the rivalry for the next half- grin may be permanently stuck
decade once it's on a school's let- after seeing highlights of Steve
ter of intent? Michigan and Ohio Slaton in Rodriguez's wide-open
State's sideline generals must spread offense - but the Wol-
think so. But history may dis- verines' success rate with their
agree. recent five stars has been less
No thing is a sure thing: than perfect.

hoice on Wednesday. The Jeannette, Pa.,
This isn't Michigan-specific.
It's not even college-football spe-
cific. When nine-year-olds have
football highlight tapes getting
hundreds of thousands of views
on YouTube, it's simply impos-
sible for everyone to catch up to
their own hype.
Life will go on:
There's a good chance - prob-
ably a little more than the 50 per-
cent one he's advertising - that
Pryor won't come to Michigan.
A setback? Obviously. The
apocalypse? Hardly.
The Wolverines decided to still
field a team lastyear without Ron-
ald Johnson, their program sur-
vived without Jai Eugene and the
world continued rotating on its
axis after Justin King chose Penn
State.
Call me crazy, but this trend
will still continue if Pryor dons
the Scarlet and Grey, or if he
shocks the world and chooses a
school outside the Big Ten.
Whether it's Pryor, Steve
Threet or some other recruit run-
ning Michigan's offense next year,
it's just one position. Sure, it's an
important one, but the excitement
surrounding Rodriguez's hiring
shouldn't be erased if one 18 year-
old decides to go elsewhere.
- Bell can be reached at
scottebaumich.edu.

4

4

4

Fifth-yearseniorJeff Marsh dethroned the top-ranked 157-pound wrestler in what
proved to be the difference in No. 6 Michigan's victory over No. 15 Illinois.

Preparation pays
Win at Iowa a decade in the making off in huge upset

Golder's squad bests Iowa City, the Wolverines never
won.
Hawkeyes on the But this weekend, the No. 4
Michigan men's gymnastics team
road for first time finally F
succeed- MICHIGAN 341.95
in a decade ed, beat- IOWA 338.60.
ing No.
By COLT ROSENSWEIG 10 Iowa 341.95-338.60.
Daily Sports Writer "I've had great teams come out
here before and not come away
IOWA CITY - Since he became with a victory," Golder said. "I
Michigan's coach in 1997, Kurt feel real good about it. The guys
Golder has been trying to beat hung in there real tough."
Iowa on the road. Yet no matter The outcome of the meet
how talented a team he brought to remained in doubt until the very

end, as Michigan's trouble closing
out meets continued.
An attractive hand-operated
scoreboard added several minutes
to the Wolverines' 11-year wait for
the win.
It was impossible to tell how
either team was doing at a given
moment when event totals took
half a rotation to post.
The Hawkeyes threw all their
firepower at the Wolverines, who
competed without five of their
regulars, and it almost worked.
"It was a pretty rough meet,"
senior co-captain Arren Yoshimu-
ra said. "I don't think we
did what we were capable of
doing."
But the gymnasts turned
in gritty performances in the
clutch.
As cheers of "Let's go
Hawks" vied with equally
loud "Let's go Blue" cheers
from the Michigan gymnasts
and traveling fans, 7 of 12 Wol-
verines hit their high-bar and
parallel-bars sets to clinch the
win.
Rings, where Michigan used
just four gymnasts, proved key
to the win. The rings squad
rose to the challenge, posting
a 57.25 event total as all their
scores counted. Junior Phil
Goldberg won the event with
a 14.9.
Michigan left the door open
for Iowa on the final two rota-
tions with a spate of falls and
mistakes.
But due to great perfor-
mances on the vault and
rings, the team had a three-
point cushion to work with,
and Iowa was unable to catch
up. Freshman Thomas Kel-
ley snagged the high bar title,
and Yoshimura tied Iowa's Jon
Buese for tops on the parallel

bars.
The Wolverines got a fine
start on their first event, pom-
mel horse, with a 4-for-6 per-
formance topped by senior
co-captain Paul Woodward's
meet-best 14.45 set. And on floor,
Michigan grabbed a lead it would
never surrender.
Freshman Ian Makowske,
making his collegiate debut,
bounced back from a rough pom-
mel horse set with a strong floor
routine. Later, he hit his set on
high bar when Michigan needed
it most.
"I was really happywith myself,
because in (Junior Olympics),
that was really an issue for me,"
Makowske said.
"If I started off the meet with a
fall, the rest of the meet would be
terrible."
Junior Scott Bregman also
stood out on floor, recording his
first hit on the event since injur-
ing his foot last season.
Then, amid an avalanche of
solid vaults from his teammates
- junior Kent Caldwell won the
event - Bregman finalized his
comeback with a nearly stuck
double full.
"I don't think there's really a
way to describe it," Bregman said.
"It was just a moment I've been
working (toward) for 10 months,
really, and it just feels like the old
Scott is back."
While the win against Iowa
wasn't the prettiest, it's enough
to send the Wolverines into their
two-week break feeling positive.
"I think not having our best
lineup in definitely affected us,"
Kelley said. "But it was cool that
we could still beat Iowa even with
some of our top guys missing.
"A lot of guys who hadn't com-
peted all season got a chance to
compete."

By IAN KAY wriggled free for aone-point escape.
Daily Sports Writer As the two wrestlers scrambled in
the match's waning seconds, Marsh
"Making the difference." notched his second takedown to
That's what Michigan fifth-year seal the 9-6 victory.
senior captain Jeff Marsh calls In a dual that seemed equal, with
the extra- ---- five Michigan wrestlers and five
workouts ILLINOIS 16 Illinois wrestlers favored on paper,
and film MICHIGAN 22 Marsh's upset was the lone contest
sessions that defied expectations.
he's put in over the last several "Yeah, it was an upset, but Jeff
weeks. earned that match," Michigan
Marsh's dedication paid off Fri- coach Joe McFarland said. "He set
day. His upset win over Illinois' the pace right away and he kept the
top-ranked Mike Poeta was the dif- pressure on and that's how you win
ference in a22-16 Wolverine victory those big matches. You have to con-
over the 15th-ranked Fighting Illini tinue to attack and he did a good job
at Cliff Keen Arena. of that."
After studying tape of his oppo- Marsh's victory was the third of
nent, Marsh entered the ring with six straight Michigan victories in
a plan to shoot within the match's the middle weights.
first five seconds and did just that, The Wolverines fell behind 10-0
lunging at Poeta's legs and sending early, but a decision win by fresh-
both wrestlers to the mat almost man Kellen Russell at 141 pounds
immediately after the opening and an impressive pin by fifth-year
whistle. senior captain Josh Churella at 149
Though Poeta countered to closed the Illini lead to a single
score the first points in the contest, point before Marsh swungthe dual
Marsh's early attack established an in Michigan's favor.
unrelenting pace for which Poeta After two more decisions
seemed unprepared. expanded the Wolverine lead to
"I didn't score that first take- eight, redshirt junior captain Tyrel
down, but (Poeta) was like 'We're Todd scored seventakedowns and a
going to have a match, I'm going to near-fallin a dominating184-pound
have to wrestle,"' Marsh said. "The major decision to run his personal
whole match he was on his heels, winning streak to 20 matches.
and that set the tone." Todd was frustrated that he was
Despite Poeta's undefeated unable to record a technical fall
record and undisputed top ranking after being taken down with 20
at 157 pounds, Marsh -who came seconds remaining in his match,
into the match with an 11-7 dual but said Marsh's victory lessened
meet record - didn't seem intimi- the importance of th 'missedbonus
dated. point.
Down 3-1 midway through the "Even though Jeff's career is
second period, the Wolverine wres- about to come to an end, i truly
tler took control of the match with a believe that everyone has match-
single-leg takedown and two quick es that redefine their wrestli:g,"
back points to take the lead. Todd said. "I think this is going
Poeta used a single leg of his own to be that match for Jeff and he's
to even the score with just 50 set- going to have a phenomenal end of
onds remaining, but Marsh quickly the year."

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