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February 04, 2014 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-04

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sport

8 -Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

FOOTBALL RECRUITING
Football set to ink
nine signatures

Hoke speaks on disciplinary policy

By JASON RUBINSTEIN
DailySports Writer
In the college football
world, the first Wednesday of
every February is normally
characterized by chaos and
waitingonlast-minutedecisions.
It's National Signing Day, the
first day seniors in high school
can sign a binding letter of intent
to a college of the player's choice,
if offered to play football.
But for the Michigan football.
team, the 2014 edition of Nation-
al Signing Day should be relative-
ly quiet - a rarity in the program.
For only the third time since
2002, the Wolverines aren't
expecting anyone to sign who
isn't already committed. Only
one player, five-star defensive
end Malik McDowell, isbelieved
to be considering Michigan, but
the odds of landing him are slim.
"I would be shocked if he
chose Michigan," 247Sports's
Steve Lorenz said. "As of last
week, (running back coach Fred)
Jackson, his primary recruiter,
thought (McDowell) would
choose Michigan. But now, his
parents know he doesn't want to
go to Michigan, but his parents
don't want Michigan State, so
it's going to be a compromise.
If I had to choose, I would say
Florida State, but wouldn't rule
out Ohio State."
Despite the absence of any
drama, Michigan is expecting
the nine remaining verbal
commitments of the 2014 class
to signtheir letter of intent.
Though nine may seem small,
the Wolverines had seven early
enrollees, a program record.
Quarterback Wilton Speight,
wide receivers Freddy Canteen
and Drake Harris, defensive
tackle Bryan Mone, cornerback
Brandon Watson, offensive line-
man Mason Cole and linebacker
Michael Ferns have already

started classes at the University.
So why is Michigan seeing so
many early enrollees? Look no
further than the results of last
year's early enrllees.
"You look at a guy like (fresh-
man tight end) Jake Butt: he's a
perfect example of somebody
who benefited tremendously
from enrolling early," Lorenz
said. "Those extra six months are
huge. It's just amatter of getting
into the playbook early, getting
into the weight room and assimi-
lating into Michigan in general."
Early enrollees aside, Michi-
gan's remaining nine commits
are some high-profile players.
Jabrill Peppers, a five-star
cornerback from Paramus,
N.J., is the Wolverines' highest-
ranked recruit ever. Peppers,
who many see as a two-way
player, like Charles Woodson
during his time at Michigan, is
ranked No. 2 overall by ESPN.
The Wolverines are also
expecting signings from six
other defensive players. By
Wednesday night, defensive
linemen Lawrerce Marshall and
Brady Pallante and linebacker's
Noah Furbush, Jared Wangler
and Chase Winovich should be
declared Wolverines.
Offensively, Michigan is
expecting the signatures from
tight end Ian Bunting, offensive
tackle Juwann Bushell-Beatty
and wide receiver Maurice Ways.
But signing day should be rel-
atively uneventful for Michigan
coach Brady Hoke - just the way
he likes it, says Lorenz.
"You'll see it happen again
with the 2015 class," Lorenz
said. "They like to find a concise,
small group of targets early
and go after them hard and get
them on campus for visit days. I
know they are still in it for Malik
McDowell, but trust me, if they
could avoid situations like this,
they weuld."

ByGREG GARNO
Daily Sports Editor
Michigan football coach Brady
Hoke spoke to reporters on Mon-
day for the first time since The
Michigan Daily reported last
week that former kicker Bren-
dan Gibbons was permanently
separated from the University for
violating the Student Sexual Mis-
conduct Policyon Nov.22, 2009.
"Michigan Athletics has no
influence over any part of a
review of a potential violation
of University's student code of
conduct - not the process, the
investigation or the timing of the
resolution," Hoke said in a state-
ment before talking with report-
ers. "In general, while we may be
aware of an on-going proceeding,
we alwaysstrive to balance trans-
parency with privacy.
"Our usual approach is to not
issue discipline related to a stu-
dent'sstandingontheteambefore
the University's process runs
its course and the outcome has
been determined. We will always
respect the rights and confidenti-
ality of the process and the parties
involved. One way we do that is by
not discussing the details of stu-
dent disciplinary matters.
"So while I would like to be
more forthcoming, I can't provide
any details due to federal privacy
laws and University policies."
Hoke continued, elaborating
on Michigan football's standards
of conduct.
"We talk every day with our
kids about the importance of
character and integrity. It's
something we take very seriously,
how we're going to do things the
rightway.Wetalkdailyaboutyour
name and what it means. That's
why you get into this as a coach,
to help young men grow and learn
and mature. We're held to those
standards, and we hold them to
that. I think we've made clear
our expectations, and our actions
and discipline involving incidents
in the past have reflected that.
And those standards will not be

Michigan football coach Brady Hoke spoke to reporters regarding football disciplinary procedures on Monday,

compromised."
According to media reports,
Hoke did not mention Gibbons by
name and did not disclose wheth-
er he was aware that Gibbons was
permanently separated, citing
federal privacy laws.
"Believe me, it'd be easier to
discuss everything," Hoke told
reporters. "But due to privacy
and everything else, it's not
going to happen.
"Federal laws and allithatstuff,
and University policy. ... And to
be honest with you, it's not fair
to anybody involved with it (to
discuss it publicly)."
The University's Office of
Student Conflict Resolution
found Gibbons responsible for
the reported conduct on or before
Nov. 20, 2013, but Gibbons played
in the Nov. 23 game at Iowa. He
° did not play against Ohio State
the following week because

of what Hoke called an injury.
Gibbons did not play in the Dec.
28 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
because of what Hoke said were
"family matters."
According to reports, Hoke
discussed working to resolve
character issues in the past.
"You can go back and look at all
the different cases that we've had
- which we haven't had many -
but there's been consequences
and discipline and those things."
Within the past year, Hoke
suspended sophomore tight end
A.J. Williams for one game after
Williams was caught driving
under the influence while being
under the legal drinking age.
Junior defensive end Frank Clark
and fifth-year senior running
back Fitzgerald Toussaint were
also suspended one game after
they were charged with felonious
home invasion and driving under

the influence, respectively.
"Track record, I've dealt with
everything that's happened on
this team, from character issues
to the integrity they have,"
Hoke said, according to media
reports. "Those are two of the
most important things that I
have, is my character and my
integrity, and I got into coaching
to help kids understand that.
That's a huge part of what this
job is and why I got into it. For
people to attack the character
and integrity that we have as a
program, as Michigan and me
personally, I think is something
that's something that's not true.
Because we've dealt with it.
"I get a lot of help when
something goes bad or a bad
decision is made."
Hoke isscheduled toomeet with
reporters again on Wednesday to
discuss National Signing Day.

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