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September 07, 2012 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-07
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Big House opener likely to be a shootout

OHIO
From Page 5

linebacker Joe Bolden from
Cincinnati Colerain, safety
Jarrod Wilson from Akron
Buchtel and tight end A.J.
Williams from Cincinnati
Sycamore - saw playing
time in Michigan's season
opener against Alabama last
Saturday.
For the class of2013, Hoke
has already secured nine
more Ohioans, including six
four-star players.
Simply put, no previous
Michigan coach - at least
recently - has done better
in Ohio than Hoke has so far.
In his two full classes,
Hoke has landed 18 players
from the state, with a star
average of 3.7 according to
Rivals. By comparison, Rich
Rodriguez signed 14 Ohio-
ans in his two full classes
as Michigan head coach,
with a star average of 3.1.
And in Lloyd Carr's final six
full recruiting classes from
2002-07, the Wolverines
signed just 12 players from
Ohio, albeit. with a 3.6 star
average.
"I think that it's a com-
bination of Michigan being
a high-profile school in the
Midwest and Brady Hoke
putting a focal point on the
state of Ohio," said Rivals.,
com Midwest Analyst Josh
Helmoldt. "It's come togeth-
er and allowed them to real-
ly make a strong dent in the
top talent for that state."
Hoke's efforts are espe-

cially notable when com-
pared to his predecessor's.
As the numbers indicate,
Rodriguez recruited Ohio
strongly. But he focused just
as much on Florida, where
his staff had ties and where
he had recruited in the past.
Rodriguez emphasized
Florida as much as Hoke's
staff emphasizes the Mid-
west.
The current staff has
four assistants specifically
assigned to Ohio. Smith and
defensive coordinator Greg
Mattison focus on the major
hotbeds - the southwest
section around Cincinnati
and Dayton and the north-
east section around Cleve-
land, respectively. Offensive
coordinator Al Borges and
defensive line coach Jerry
Montgomery also help out.
Rodriguez, meanwhile,
had four coaches assigned
to Florida. While that state
produces even more talent
than Ohio, the competi-
tion is greater, with three
in-state powers - Florida,
Florida State and Miami -
and the rest of the South also
making a concerted effort to
recruit there.
It was like Rodriguez
was searching for a fountain
of youth in Florida. Hoke,
meanwhile, has already
begun mining the Potosi
that sits next door.
"You're just kind of get-
ting who you can, when you
can (in Florida)," Helmholdt
said. "I think when you're
looking at building a class,
which involves both getting.

talent and a
needs, you ar
plish that mu
you start wit]
needs at hor
Midwest."

ilso addressing bit silly that the Wolverines
e able to accom- would invest so much time,
ch better when effort and money in what is
h securing your essentially enemy territory.
me and in the Realistically, Michigan will
never out-recruit Ohio State
in Ohio.
*** But that doesn't mean that
the Wolverines can't pick up

But what of the elephant -at least a few solid prosp
in the room, the power that every year - or do even
sits in the middle of the state ter, as has been the
and has traditionally had its under Hoke.
pick of the surrounding tal- "Ohio State can't
"From the standpoint
of the quality of the
football... you'd be
stupid not to go in the
state of Ohio."
- Mark Smith
Linebackers Coach

pects
bet-
case
get

don Moore, for example, all
said that they didn't grow
up rooting strongly for Ohio
State.
Hoke was helped, too, in
the 2012 class by the tattoo/
memorabilia scandal that hit
Columbus and eventually
forced the resignation of for-
mer coach Jim Tressel. The
uncertainty surrounding the
Ohio State program caused
several recruits to re-think
their plans.
Kalis and Strobel, for
example, both were Ohio
State fans, and they have said
they likely never would've
considered Michigan were it
not for the doubts that arose
concerning the Buckeyes.
Kalisein fact, was initially
committed to the Buckeyes.
But each decided to -look at
the Wolverines in the wake
of Ohio State's issues.
That pair and the other
Ohio recruits have been sold
on Michigan because of the
way that Hoke and his staff
operate.
"Really down to earth,"
said Sycamore High School
coach Scott Dattilo, who
coached Williams. "That's
the one thing about Coach
Hoke that jumped out. I've
known Coach Smith for
a while, very easy to talk
to him, but Coach Hoke's
just a down-to-earth guy. I
can see why kids would be
drawn to him. Doesn't come
off as holier-than-thou head
coach.
"Just one of the guys that
comes in and talks football,
and I think that's an appeal-

ing trait."
The coaching staff,
including Mattison - who
has a reputation for being
one of the best recruit-
ers in all of college football
- knows Ohio well, and it
doesn't put on any pretens-
es when it recruits there.
Genuineness is what most
recruits point to when asked
about the Michigan coaches,
accordingto Helmholdt.
Dymonte Thomas, a
safety/running back from
Marlington High School in
Alliance who is committed
to Michigan for 2013, even
said that Mattison is "pretty
much like another dad for
me."
It's that comfort level that
Ohio recruits have found
with Hoke and company
that has spurred the staff's
recent recruiting successes.
They've landed seven play-
ers with offers from Ohio
State; Rodriguez had none,
and Carr had just four in his
last six full classes.
Like Thomas, Pickering-
ton North High School tight
end Jake Butt, another 2013
commit, said he thought
he'd "never go" to Michigan
before Hoke's staff began
recruiting him.
'"After visiting for the
Ohio State game, the Michi-
gan-Notre Dame game, get-
ting to see games like that,
it really just got my heart
into Michigan," Butt said..
"You know what? It wasn't
even hard at all (to pick Ohio
State's biggest rival)."
See OHIO CONT., Page 7

By LUKE PASCH against Air Force, and threw for
Daily Sports Editor two touchdowns:
~~~-~~------ Idaho State, which finished sec-
Air Force is coming to Ann and-to-last in the Big Sky last sea-
Arbor on Saturday afternoon, and son with a 1-7 conference record,
knowledgeable college football thrashed the Falcon defense for 355
fans know that means at least one yards through the air last week.
thing - Michigan better be pre E Rxpect wide receiver transplant
pared for a heavy dose of the triple- Devin Gardner to have a breakout
option offense. performance against the inexpe-
But there's more to the contest rienced Air Force defense, as the
than dealing with the Falcons' dis- tallest player in the Falcon second-
orienting offensive attack, which ary is 6-foot-1senior defensive back
seems to be the only thing fans Brian Lindsay. The 6-foot-4 Gard-
know about the academy's football ner should have little trouble fight-
program. ing for position and snatching any
Michigan pass offense vs. Air jump ball thrown his way.
Force pass defense Edge: Michigan
It seems that everybody except Michigan rush offense vs. Air
Michigan offensive coordinator Al Force rush defense
Borges was distraught over Borg- Michigan coach Brady Hoke has
es's play calling against Alabama yet to officially name his starter in
last Saturday. Through much of the backfield for Saturday's match-
the game, Robinson hung in the up, but it's highly unlikely he'll sur-
pocket and tried to squeeze the ball prise anybody'with'his choice.
through coverage, of little avail. Redshirt junior running back
He didn't have many opportunities Fitzgerald Toussaint served a
to showcase his blistering speed, one-game suspension for driving
whether it be because of the Crim- while visibly impaired in July and
son Tide's stout defense'or because watched the contest against Ala-
of Borges' play calling. bama from a couch as his fellow
Though Robinson went just running backs sophomore Thomas
11-of-26 passing on Saturday, Rawls and senior Vincent Smith
he'll likely find more success this got pummeled at the line of scrim-
week should he continue to attack mage. The pair combined for just
through the air. The Falcons' sec- 48yards on.19 carries last Saturday.
ondary is about half as talented and Toussaint will finally inject a
half as athletic as Alabama's, and noticeable burst back to Michigan's
it returns just one starter in safety rushing attack, and he indicated on
Anthony Wooding Jr. Tuesday that he's anxious to get
Last week Idaho State quarter- back in the action.
back Kevin Yost completed an eye- With Toussaint's presence in
popping 42 passes on 53 attempts the backfield, Robinson's job gets

a whole lot easier. Last week, Ala-
bama's No.1 focus was notallowing
Robinsonto break the pocket. This
Saturday, Air Force won't have the
same luxury, as Toussaint himself
will be a force to be reckoned with.
Of the Falcons' four returning
defensive starters, outside line-
backers Alex Means and Jamil
Cooks do an excellent job of con-
taining plays to the inside of the
field, which may limit opportuni-
ties for Toussaint and Robinson to
break free. Still, expect the two of
them to pickup some big-play yard-
age this Saturday.
Edge: Michigan
Air Force rush offense vs. Michi-
gan rush defense
From a defender's perspective,,
Air Force's triple-option rushing
attack looks like a mess. The offen-
sive linemen are absurdly mobile,
senior quarterback Connor Dietz
has speed and senior running back
Cody Getz is faster.
'On Tuesday, senior defensive
end Craig Roh described the triple
option as "mass chaos."
But in reality, the triple option is
very calculated and requires a ton
of discipline to deploy successfully.
Needless to say, the Falcons are
disciplined, and they know how to
exploit defenses that aren't.
On every rushing play, Dietz
has the option of handing off to his
fullback, keeping the ball himself
or pitching it to his tailback. To
defend against that multi-pronged
attack, Michigan's defenders need
to stick to their keys instead of
flocking to the ball on every play.

toERIN KIRKLAND/Daily
Michigan coach Brady Hoke has a stiff test waiting in week two.

The Wolverines struggled
mightily against Alabama last Sat-
urday, and now they'll have to gear
up for an offense that most players
have little experience defending
against. Consider the triple option
an equalizer of sorts for an Air
Force squad that lacks the talent
and athleticism Michigan will see
in the conference season.
Edge: Air Force
Air Force pass offense vs. Michi-
gan pass defense
If the triple option rushing
attack isn't mind-boggling enough
in itself, consider that Dietz also
has the option to pass the ball.
Forgot about that, didn't you?
Air Force doesn't throw the
ball much. Last Saturday, the Fal-
cons rushed the ball 58 times and

attempted only 11 passes.
But each tlime Dietz throws the
ball he has the defensive coverage
on its heels, which creates space
for the ensuing running plays. And
maybe after running the ball eight
to 10 plays in a row, he'll shock you
with the deep ball, which he isn't
afraid to throw.
Dietz threw for 142 yards on just
eight completions against Idaho
State last week.
Still, Air Force's receivers aren't
the most physical, and Michigan's
secondary should do a solid job
sticking with them, even with cor-
nerback Blake' Countess's season-
ending ACL tear against Alabama.
Edge: Michigan
See SHOOTOUT, Page 8

Oosterbaan to be honored as 'Michigan Legend'

ent?
It's no wonder Ohio State
is one of the top programs
in college football. It has
an unending supply of top,
high school football play-
ers a short distance away,
and many of them grow up
dreaming of wearing the
scarlet and gray.
Michigan, then, has
always found itself'fighting
an uphill battle in trying to
recruit the state of its biggest
rival. 'On the face of it, it's a

them all," said Mentor High
School coach Steve Trivi-
sonno, the coach of 2012
defensive lineman recruit
Tom Strobel.
Plus, fewer Ohio recruits
than expected grow up die-
hard Buckeye fans.
Current Ohio-native
Michigan players such as
redshirt sophomore line-
backer Jake Ryan, fifth-year
senior offensive lineman
Patrick Omameh and fifth-
year senior tight end Bran-

By STEPHEN J. NESBITT
Daily Sports Editor
Eighty-five years after Bennie
Oosterbaan graduated from Michi-
gan as a five-time All-American,
his No. 47 jersey is finally back on
the field.
Oosterbaan, a nine-time Michi-
gan letterman in football, basket-
ball and baseball from 1924-28,
earned All-American distinction
five times - three times asa defen-
sive end and wide receiver, and
twice as a forward on the hard-
wood. His No. 47 was the first"
number retired by the Michigan
'football team, and on Saturday.it'll
be the first one reinstated.
This season, the Wolverines will
honor Oosterbaan, former Presi-

dent Gerald Ford (No. 48), Ron
Kramer (No. 87) and the Wistert
brothers (No. 11) - Francis, Albert
and Alvin - by returning their
former jersey numbers to the field
with a patch designating them as
'Michigan Football Legend' jer-
seys. On Saturday, one Michigan
player will trot out of the tunnel
with a new number - No. 47.
Who that player will be, though,
is still a mystery.
"I kind of put a pool of names
together," said Michigan coach
Brady Hoke. "The qualities that we
would look for and the character
that we would look for."
Does he know which player it'll
be?
"I think I know what we're going
to do," Hoke said.

Hoke will present the number to
a deserving player, but they'll have
to accept the attention that comes
with representing a legend like
Oosterbaan.
"That's up to them," Hoke said.
"Believe me, I'm not going to force
it on anybody, but we're going to
have a conversation about it and
about what this means and what an
honor it is."
Immediately following his
graduation in 1928, Oosterbaan
joined on as an assistant coach for
the Michigan football and men's
basketball teams. He became head
basketball coach in1948 and served
in that capacity for nine seasons.
In 1948 he also became head
football coach. In 11.seasons, he
compiled a 63-33-4 record. Michi-

gan won three Big Ten champi-
onships under Oosterbaan, the
national title in 1948 and the 1951
Rose Bowl.
"I think there's a lot to say about
Bennie's legacy and his perfor-
mance and his production, his
character and integrity that he
brought to Michigan," Hoke said,
adding that he never met Ooster-
baan before his death in 1990.
Hoke said Michigan will be edu-
cated on Oosterbaan's impact at
Michigan prior to the home opener
against Air Force on Saturday.
In an interview with Michigan
historian Greg Dooley, Ooster-
baan's godson Ben McCready -
named after Oosterbaan - said the
-legend's family "loved and support-
ed" the idea.

McCready and eight members
of Oosterbaan's family will be
featured in an on-field ceremony
before the game on Saturday.
"I think Bennie would be
thrilled that his number was going'
to be back on the field, as it was
for the very first game ever played
in Michigan Stadium," McCready
said. "I also think he might be a bit
embarrassed by all the fuss but as
long as it made people happy he'd
be fine with it."
When asked if he had any
preference to who wears No. 47,
McCready pinpointed fifth-year
senior safety Jordan Kovacs.
"But I don't have any say in that
decision," McCready said. "I trust
the coaches to pick the right play-
er."

6 1 FootballSaturday - September 8, 2012

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