Search

Site Search

Athlete Search

WOD Search

Photo Search

Whiteboard

 

 

 

Monthly Archives
Build a Champion
Additional References

Behind the Champion: The Junkin/Eason Family

Ever wonder about the best way to eliminate pimples? See here for details.


 

Entries in recruiting (7)

Beast Mode: Myron

Spring new kid Myron Gardner hasn't been in the gym in about a month, but he's been putting in a lot of work and travel on the AAU circuit with The Family this summer. He plays on the team one year older than the group I help coach, and unfortunately neither of our teams qualified for the National Tournament this year (The Peach Jam). But last weekend we played in the Peach Invitational (pretty much the NIT of the Nike Circuit) and Myron continued to make a good name for himself, as he picked up offers from Georgia State and Georgetown. Here's a few highlights.

 

 

With the last tournament coming within the next week, we should be seeing Myron back in action here really soon. Keep up the good work kiddo!

National Signing Day Stories

For those of us obsessive enough to follow high school kids and their decisions to play college, yesterday was one of the most important days of the year: National Signing Day. Football recruits from all over the country made their decisions on which college they would be playing for (Michigan's did not turn out that well on paper, at least). But the glorious coverage was all day on the ESPN networks and it has become so popular that most kids make an event out of it - which I don't necessarily see as a bad thing.

SB Nation had an article earlier this month that highlights the weirdest announcements we have seen on National Signing Day. This came just before this happened yesterday:

 

 

That is Jacob Copeland's mom walking out after he didn't pick Bama. Never a dull moment in College Football.

College Athlete Admission Standards

Every few years I have an eye-opening coaching experience. The first was The Meeting, the second was Carl Paoli's seminar, the third was the trip to San Francisco CrossFit, the fourth was coaching at the Day Care, the fiiiifff was the presenting with Coach T at the Michigan State Clinic, and the most recent one has come over the course of the past 6 months while doing private basketball coaching.

Since June I have been charging 60 bucks per hour to do basketball stuff with kids ranging from 7-16 years old. It is awesome; I am obsessed with game of basketball, I am obsessed with coaching, I get to recruit kids to do CrossFit here, and every cent that comes to me gets direct deposited into the Champions Club bank account. What is has also done for me is helped me realize that parents will pay SIXTY FREAKING DOLLARS FOR 50 MINUTES of sports training. And I am about to raise my prices in the spring. It is baffling. In fact, I've told more than 75% of the parents that I think they really should reconsider spending all that money on basketball training for numerous reasons, the least of which being that their son does not seem to like basketball (“but let me tell you about this thing called CrossFit” is what usually happens next). Surprisingly I get mostly positive reactions to this, and hopefully once basketball season is done I’ll be able to add a few New Kids to our regular ranks. The Babies session has already benefited from it.

What this and a few recent discussions with Champions Club parents tells me is that there is no ill-will behind anything – such as parents trying to live through their kids, or kids being arrogant. Instead, they simply don’t know what it takes to make the next level. They see their competition in the Greg Grant league or their middle school with a graduating class of 15 and they can’t help but think that private lessons are the way to a college scholarship.

Coincidentally this was a message to me as I was editing this editorial

All but 2 of the kids I have coached said they want to play at a D1 college, then play in the NBA. This is something I empathize with completely. As a 28-year old who currently has a public goal to be the best CrossFit affiliate in the world, you can probably imagine this was totally me at their age and older. I wanted to be an under-the-radar recruit who, after watching Rashad Phillips play (anyone know who he was?), chose U of D Mercy over Michigan, Purdue, and Illinois, then went on to an NBA career with 11 All-Star appearances and 7 championships. That is not a joke, and that lasted all the way until 8th grade when I saw Yancey Gates, and I found out that good 8th graders are 6’4, black, and dunking on fools. I was not any of these, so I started to work harder. Up until February 23, 2012 (The Meeting) I still had the idea that I could play professional basketball in some league, despite my college career being less than remarkable. And so when Andrew, who just got cut from a last-place 7th grade team, tells me he wants to play for OKC, I am not just being nice when I tell him that it’s possible. I’ve seen weirder things happen. I just think there needs to be some guidelines in place.

My two athletic claims to fame are: 1) being a benchwarmer on the best AAU program in Michigan, with Draymond Green as our team’s second-best player and  2) getting a preferred walk-on offer over the phone from Oakland University the summer going into my senior year. Despite the fact that I never made it to where I wanted to with basketball, I really, really think I had a mindset and work ethic that would reflect someone that played at that level, and coaches have confirmed this to me along my career. But I only refined this dedication because I was fortunate enough to be on the court with people who were already professionals or clearly future-pros. I saw where I was relative to them and I tried as hard as I could to make up the gap.

None of the kids I have coached through private basketball lessons have seen that, and their parents only see what their kids see. Most of the Champions Club athletes still in high school and middle school haven’t had that exposure either. So I figured having a formal checklist could help families see reality and decide how much they want to commit to their sport (shouts to Matt Fecht, Alyssa, and Sap for helping). The idea for this is simple: you must accumulate the allotted point requirement for your desired level (10 points for D1/D2, and 5 points for NAIA/D3). The factors are split into two categories: controlled and non-controlled. The non-controlled factors have a lot more to do with genetics and family conditions, and there is little any athlete can do to adjust those in a meaningful way. The controlled factors are the opposite; they are conscious daily, weekly, monthly, and lifetime decisions made by the athlete that slowly tip the scale in the direction they want to go. Here is the breakdown:

Division-1 College Athlete (10 total points needed)

*Give up your sport for 6 months, or keep your sport and give up everything else “fun” for 6 months?

Division-2 College Athlete (10 total points needed)

*Same as above except for 2 months

Division-3/NAIA College Athlete (5 total points needed)

*If you sat the bench for your first month of the season, would you quit or stick with it?

While the metrics in here are not exact, the overall theme is important, and pretty accurate. The way to get your point total is slightly different for D1 and D2, and radically different when looking at D3. You can read the graphs from the top-down or bottom-up, depending on where an athlete and parent want to be. But here’s a few notes:

Being a college athlete is not hard to do. There are a ton of small schools out there that will take anyone. And I mean ANYONE.  Our 2012 Marygrove roster (which included your favorite new hip hop artist, Mike Jack) had 3 kids that had never made a high school basketball team. And we were middle-of-the-pack record-wise and in the upper 5% talent-wise for all NAIA schools. If you want to play at a small college, first check to make sure your heart is beating and then start sending emails and highlight tapes. It doesn’t take much. And it certainly doesn’t require lots of money pumped into kids travel teams. Save that for Albion, Hope, and Olivet’s tuition. It’s gonna be around 40 grand!

Recruit yourself. Alyssa Jabara is the best example I have heard of this. She played for a good travel softball team in high school but was not getting the college attention she wanted. So she took it upon herself and emailed coaches every weekend starting her junior year. She is at Concordia now (in the NAIA league with Marygrove, Madonna, Aquinas, etc.) and a lot of that has to do with the initiative she took. The extra controlled factors she put in that more closely resembled D2 is the difference between her just being on the team and her beating out 2 upper-class catchers as a freshman last year.

1-month quit test. Small school sports suck. There were bigger crowds at high school games. You get crammed van rides for hours and hours. Practices are at 6 am. In other words, you put in a ton of work and get very little publicity – especially if you are 1) a girl or 2) playing anything besides football and basketball. And on top of that, scholarships are treated differently at this level, so don’t be surprised if you came in with a handful of other freshman at the same position. There were 7 freshman quarterbacks on the football roster during my only semester at Albion. And the coach still asked me to try out. The more kids they bring in, the more enrollment goes up. Bottom line is, you have to love the game unconditionally.

Well maybe I’ll just go D2 instead. The Division-2 level is the most misunderstood tier of college sports in my opinion. These dudes (or girls) can play, man. Everyone thinks they are pros here, and to their credit, some of them are right. You’ll notice that there is a big jump from NAIA/DIII to the D2 level, and D2 is not that much different than the D1 requirements. The areas I have noticed the biggest difference in the D1 and D2 athletes are the non-controlled areas, which are just a tad lower than the D1 group. But where this can get tricky is with transferring. Take Glenn Winston, who had the makeup for D1 but didn’t get the playing time he wanted at MSU, so he transferred to Northwood and immediately played in front of Cam – who, by the way, had all the measurables and connections to make a really good D2 running back. Division-2 is loaded with talent, and it’s often people who shoot for D1 and miss that are standouts, not D3 kids looking to move up.

Non-controlled factors. Now we get into the Division-1 category, and this is where there are pretty solid factors that are not completely mandatory, but very hard to bypass. Measurables are simply the raw mass of your body. For instance, if you are 7’0, or over 6’6 with arms longer than your height, you have the right measurables for a D1 basketball player. If you are over 300 lbs., you can be a D1 offensive lineman. The specifics are different with every sport, the idea is the same. “Elite” skill means that your skill in that area is at a professional level. I knew Alex Marcotullio growing up at St. Dennis (he is good friends with my cousin Josh) and he played for The Family the year after I got there. By everyone’s account I was better at dribbling, driving, mid-range shooting, passing, defense, rebounding, and I was stronger and better conditioning than he was. But his 3-point shooting was – no joke – NBA worthy. Combine that with the measurables for his position (Jay Junkin’s height) and he played 4 years at Northwestern. Connections are the next thing, because with all that skill and genetics, a lot of it depends on who you know. All it takes is for one coach to like you.

Social Norms. Now we are into controlled factors, and this one comes directly from Matt Fecht. This means when the normal thing to do is party after you won a game, you skip it and sneak back into the gym to practice more. Or when it is snowing outside, you still get your training run in, regardless of the awkward looks you get. Your “process” takes precedence over what is considered normal by peers.

Scheduled down-time. For most elites in their field, down-time does not happen when they feel like it. It is built into their schedule. This includes family events, television, video games, cheat meals, and parties. Time away is a very important part of staying healthy. As Kobe Bryant said, “If the sun never went down, everyone would get sun-burned.” But even the sun does it on a schedule. So set a cheat meal to coincide with your grandma’s 90th birthday party, or plan on some father-son bonding whenever Michigan is playing on Saturday, and use that as an incentive/reward for staying on track during the time leading up. My personal productivity, both as an athlete and gym owner, really coincides with this.

No job. Your sport is your job. End of discussion.

S&C + Individual practice. One of the things I tell families is that if their son wants to play Division 1 basketball, they should not be relying on paying a trainer to improve their game. If the kid doesn’t have the passion to spend 2 hours per day practicing by himself, then no trainer is going to fill that void. On the other hand, having some kind of direction is good, but only to guide your individual efforts. Strength and conditioning is a different area of expertise, so having a coach is a little more beneficial, but a determined athlete can definitely get away with working out alone. Still, this is mandatory.

AAU. Okay here’s the deal: If your travel team is legit, they are sponsored by an apparel company. If you are not paying team dues, or travel expenses, or equipment fees, then you are probably sponsored (unless there’s a very rich parent). Also, apparel companies don’t sponsor youth programs, only high school. So just know that having Nike gear and having a Nike contract are two separate things. If you are not part of a sponsored team and you are a legit prospect, then you are either not paying the full amount, or not paying anything at all. Your payment is your coach getting to say he “coached” you. If you think you are a legit prospect and you can’t pull the juice card, then you are not a legit prospect.

School. You can go to school at any point in your life. On the other hand, you have about an 8-year window where you can make money on your athletic abilities. If 8 hours of homework per week is eating into sports training, then cut out some homework. You don’t need a 4.54 GPA, a 3.0 will work just fine. If you can’t get a 3.0, then just start turning in your freaking homework. That’s like a 2.8 right there! Then be nice to that smart kid who idolizes to you and it’s all set.

Food and bed. Nutrition is like religion, and sleeping remains to be one of the most unfigured-out things in the world of health and fitness. I have opinions about what are best practices. Your coach has opinions. Your grandpa has opinions. As long as you are making conscious daily decisions for both, then you get two checks.

November 2014 - right around the time Alyssa started recruiting herself and Matt was... well... still being Matt.

Now, the important thing to understand is that the more stock you have in one column, the less you need in the other. For instance, if you are 7’0 with an 90-inch wing span, then you can spend all the time immersed in your homework as you want; somebody is going to give you a free tuition to win points in the lay-up line. On the other hand, if you have every single category covered in the Controlled column, you might be able to get away with not being tall, fast, or big.

The idea is to have this reality check when setting goals. So if Andrew-who-got-cut-from-his-7th-grade-team still has dreams to play for John Beilein, he can look at the list and be like, “yep, I can see myself putting in that kind of commitment,” or “ooh… yeah that doesn’t look like something I’d be willing to do.” Either way, the information is right there and the decision to start pumping money and time and energy into that sport becomes clear. Or, at least a more educated guess. It’s the difference between asking someone what they want for Christmas and hoping they will use a $50 Whole Foods gift card.

...........

For this 2017-2018 season there are 7 D1 basketball schools in Michigan, which have a total of 114 roster spots:

  • Central Michigan: 18
  • Eastern Michigan: 16
  • Western Michigan: 14
  • Oakland: 16
  • Detroit Mercy: 17
  • Michigan: 17
  • Michigan State: 16

There are 9 D2 basketball schools in Michigan, which have a total of 138 roster spots:

  • Lake Superior State: 14
  • Northern Michigan: 17
  • Ferris State: 17
  • Wayne State: 13
  • Michigan Tech.: 15
  • Davenport: 17
  • Grand Valley: 18
  • Saginaw Valley: 13
  • Northwood: 14

This is a total of 252 roster spots for Division 1 (114) and Division 2 (138) combined.

When you go two levels lower to the NAIA (132) and DIII (114), you have 246 total roster spots:

NAIA*

  • Cornerstone: 16
  • U of M Dearborn: 18
  • Rochester: 17
  • Madonna: 17
  • Aquinas: 22
  • Sienna Heights: 15
  • Concordia: 17
  • Lawrence Tech: 10 (first-year program)

DIII*

  • Adrian: 12
  • Albion: 17
  • Alma: 24
  • Calvin: 16
  • Hope: 15
  • Kalamazoo: 17
  • Olivet: 13

*does not include roster numbers for JV teams, which usually carry at least 10 and fluctuate

Now when you take this down to the high school level, there are 710 school varsity basketball teams in the state of Michigan:

  • Class A = 188 teams
  • Class B = 180 teams
  • Class C = 170 teams
  • Class D = 172 teams

Assuming 13 kids per roster, there are 9,230 varsity basketball players in the 2017-2018 season.

That means that approx. 4% of all high school players will play college. Obviously there is a degree of variety to that, seeing as kids can go to college out of state, and Michigan schools recruit all over the Midwest (and world, see Mo Wagner, Stauskas). Also, basketball has the fewest roster spots of any sport, but it’s probably all relative with baseball, football, and track, which routinely carry rosters of 20, 60, and 100 kids respectively.

The specific numbers don’t matter as much as the overall message: a very small percentage of kids get to play a college sport. I, personally, think that is awesome. It’s something to be proud of whether it’s Alyssa Jabara playing at Concordia or Alan Wisniewski at Penn State. They are part of a select group of people who had a combination of controlled and non-controlled factors that gave them the opportunity to compete at a very high level.  If a formalized list is available to show the demands at each level, families will realize that playing college sports is not for everyone, but it is for anyone.

Summer 2017 Wishlist

The Champions Club Summer 2017 official sign-up is not quite ready, seeing as we are waiting on a few last-minute decisions. We did a wishlist in 2015 based on who I thought would fit well into sessions. This time around the wishlist will be different. Seeing as this might be the Summer of the Great Returns, I did a recruiting board. The star rankings are not based on ability, but based on what I would expect their attendance/community contribution to be like if they signed up.

Important: this is only done for people who were not in the Champions Club last summer. I think it would be kinda weird if we did it for new people. And a post involving everyone we have would take a lot longer than I would care to spend on a post. So read this like you would a Rivals board: you have the players on your team already, and you are looking for additions. Enjoy!

Jacob Augustine

5-star prospect

A big burly boy with sweat glands stemming from every possible inch of surface area of his body, Jacob has been rumored to make his return to the Champions Club this Summer in hopes to round out his overall fitness and learn some techniques to help his coaching over the fence. Boom or bust type prospect with a history of both booming and busting. And sweating.

Pros: Great community contribution. Unrivaled in recruiting persuasion.

Cons: I'm going to have to buy more 45-lb. bumper plates and Lysol whipes.

David Saporito

5-star prospect

After deciding he'd had enough of not being allowed to run the open 800m, Sap decided his time on the Eastern Michigan track/CC team was done, and he is looking to get back in "CrossFit shape." Despite being a runner, he's always had good strength and coordination that has helped him excel in the gym. Now that he is back home for the Summer, he is considering making his return to the place where his CrossFit career started in the fall of 2013.

Pros: Community involvement/recruiting persuation rivals Jacob. Shows up all the time. Kind of funny.

Cons: Physical liability from training with track people the past few years. Might not have a soul.

The Babies (collective unit)

5-star prospects

With the help of patient families like the Bodways and Asmars, and Matt Fecht's basketball camp, the Babies group has been a critical addition to the Champions Club since February. They are rabidly energetic and are very consistent in their attendance every Sunday. They currently include Simone, Sydni, Jacqueline, Drew, Conamora, Zeena, Ender, Lily, and Kyle/Haley (not pictured). While we technically had Babies sessions the past two years, it was nothing like what this Summer's might turn out to be.

Pros: The future of the Champions Club is looking at us.

Cons: Requires anywhere from 3-4 coaches at a session for safety. Potty-training might be an issue.

Elizabeth Banet

4-star prospect

Since school has been out, Biff has been steadily returning to her usual form. While taking last Summer off... wait... she was here last Summer? My bad. On to the next one then.

Pros: n/a

Cons: n/a

Mrs. Kroll

4-star prospect

With her son, Robert on the verge of getting his driver's license, there is a chance Mrs. Kroll might be able to make time out of her probably-busier-than-it-should-be schedule to make a committment to the Champions Club Summer. She's been in the Champions Club consistently since 2015 for 9 months out of every year, but has yet to put together a consistent Summer. Will this be the first?

Pros: Unconditional loyalty. 100% buy in. Easy pickins to make fun of. Everything you love about our moms!

Cons: Extra explaining is required. One of the bathrooms will always be occupied.

Mr. Fitz

4-star prospect

Despite aches and pains that have been naging at him since a youth, Mr. Fitz has tried to work around whatever was feeling sore on that particular day. In April, he had to make the call to walk away from CrossFit for good. Or, at least, he said it was for good. But after some mobility sessions, rest, and a general life without Mr. Z, Reggie, and teasing Mrs. Fitz in public, Mr. Fitz has given some hints about making a comeback for the Summer.

Pros: Very coordinated. Strong upper body. Dresses in kilts. Makes fun of Conor and Mrs. Fitz.

Cons: Walking on eggshells with injuries, etc. Might also be Jigsaw from the horror movies.

Sydni Golfin

4-star prospect

The amazin' Asian. Blazin' Blasian. Champions Club OG and teenage psychiatrist to Bubs and Murley. Heartthrob of at least one handsome lad in the gym. At least. Sydni was about as involved in the Champions Club as one could possibly be during the Fieldhouse/New Old Weight room days. That also led through to our first Summer in here. Then school got in the way, as well as back poison. We have not seen her for a full Summer since 2013, but I am holding out hope that things might change.

Pros: It's Sydni!

Cons: She kinda told me no already.

Erica Gibbons (formerly Krueger, but pronounced Kreeger)

4-star prospect

Erica technically joined last Summer as part of a Henkel thing that didn't really pan out. So for the records, 2017 would be her first official Summer with the Champions Club crew. Over the course ofthe last few months, Erica has made herself at home with Kroll, Crystal, Mama V, and the rest of the 4:30/5 pm crew. And quietly, she has become one of our best movers. Pistols, handstand push-ups, squats, Olympic lifts, and now even kipping pull-ups. If she commits, and her job across the street stays the same, watch out for this one to be on the Summer dream team.

Pros: Great technique. Starting to break out of her shy phase. Checks the website sometimes.

Cons: Lives an hour away. Refuses to get asthma checked.

Alan Wisniewski

3-star Prospect

Alan spent some time with us during the Summer 2012 before heading of to Penn State to play basketball. He meshed very well with Jacob, Morrow, and the handsome crew. Alan was on the Groves coaching staff the past two years and I got a chance to know him decently well. Very cool dude who is looking to be a mid-level contributor at the Champions Club this Summer.

Pros: Very personable. Impeccable social skills for any audience. Basketball player. Surprisingly funny.

Cons: Will require special modifications for hip extensions, GHD sit-ups, and all max effort days. Also kinda soft.

Kris Campbell

3-star prospect

Kris signed up for Fundamentals in the spring of 2014, and yet has never participated in one single legendary Champions Club Summer. Rumor has it things will be different this time around, but we will see for sure come June 12.

Pros: Legit D-1 lineman. Great community involvement. Solid dance moves for a big man.

Cons: Tends to beat me in wraastling. It hurts. Also leaves for Air Force at the end of July.

Mrs. Fitz

3-star Prospect

Mrs. Carey aside, Mrs. Fitz might be our most consistent mommy counting this school year. She joined at the tail end of last Summer, but, assuming she signs up, this will be her first full Summer with the Champions Club. She helped bring in the Mr., and has been progressing very nicely as an athlete over the past few months.

Pros: Great attitude. Good blend of strength and endurancre. Very gullible. Shows up a lot.

Cons: Spells her name wrong on the whiteboard.

Alex Faust

3-star prospect

Another rumored recruit from 5-star Jacob's outreach. Faust came in as part of the Northwood invasion in the epic Summer 2013. After a stint in Kansas City for work, Faust settled back in to the metro Detroit area and made his Champions Club return in the Summer 2015, and eventually won himself the Athlete of the Fall later that year. He's went AWOL shortly after. Will he make a return this year? I certainly hope so.

Pros: I mean, look at the picture.

Cons: I mean, loos at the picture.

Lindsey/Kasey Eason (package deal)

3-star prospects

Kasey first joined the Champions Club for the Summer 2015 (widely considered our best Summer to date). She never quite had the attendance her cousin, Jay, displayed, but she still fit in very well and made guest appearances throughout the year. She took last Summer off for reasons unknown, but came back this spring and brought her sister, Lindsey with her. This combination should prove to be a good showing this Summer, assuming they sign up.

Pros: Combo deal to hold each other accountable. Related to Jay Junkin.

Cons: Complain about push-ups and other shoulder movements. Related to Jesse Junkin.

Matt Morrow

3-star prospect

Matt Morrow is the first person in the history of the world to officially sign up for a Champions Club Summer. It was back in the Old Weight Room. 2010, to be percise. He's been a fabled member of the Handsome Gentlemen's Club, inventor of the elbow muscle-up, and has since gone off on his own to focus on Olympic Lifting. Can Jacob pull a turn-around for this one?

Pros: Very handsome. Polite. Funny. Strong. Thick. Solid. Tight.

Cons: Kinda soft, like Alan. Maybe too handsome.

Kyle Anderson/Mike Morrow (Combo Meal)

3-star prospects

These two young guns made their home in the Champions Club during the Summer 2015 as rookies who led the way to our best Summer in the books. Kyle Graduated from Michigan State this spring and already made a guest appearance on a mobility day. Mike hangs out with Jacob sometimes, and therefore is bound to get roped in here at some point. Will either stick?

Pros: The two formed a great duo of movie-talking/NBA debating/good-form loving college males.

Cons: Kyle sweats more than Jacob I think. Mike panics while doing cleans.

Avery Maslowski

3-star prospect

If Renee Shelton was a little less Renee Shelton, she would be Avery Maslowski. Just a freshman, Avery came over to the Champions Club in the late fall as part of Shannon's Cross Country group. We've already seen big improvement in coordination and strength, and she's brought her younger brother, Drew, in for the Babies session.

Pros: Lots of potential to be a legit high school athlete.

Cons: Not really sure there are any. Ride issues maybe? But probably not.

Craigen Oster

2-star prospect

Unlike his handsome counterparts, Craigen has yet to put a Champions Club Summer under his belt. I mean, he did technically sign up for Summer 2012, but his attendance was not where I was expecting. However, he seems eager to get back at it this time around, and he's always been a very easy kid to coach. So I have a feeling this college kid might out-play his ranking.

Pros: Barefeet bandit. Likes Hip Hop. Younger siblings. Good community fit. Coaches outside here.

Cons: Might still have blisters from that fateful track practice in 2013. Sorry bossman!

Steve Carey

2-star prospect

This news came to me earlier in the month from the mother of the household, but assuming a work schedule can be situated, Champions Club OG (Summer 2010 origins) Steven Carey might be looking to make a return. Last I remember from him, he was a Carey - coordinated, strongish, dreadful upper-body pushing ability, and a good community person.

Pros: A Carey. Plus has ties with OGs like Sydni, Ryan, and maybe even Gabe or Landrith.

Cons: Might have long hair now. Please don't have long hair.

Erica Potter

2-star prospect

EP came to us for Fundamentals at the end of the Summer 2013 and has been with us for a few Summers already. Taking last one off due to work schedules, she came and talked to me earlier this year about the possibility of a return for 2017.

Pros: Great chemistry with The Freaks. Good work ethic.

Cons: Inconsistent attendance. Sometimes falls over things, a la Matt Fecht.

Emmanuel Myles

2-star prospect

Emmanuel has been up and down in the Champions Club since he joined in the winter. He's very athletic and has an incredibly high cieling as a runner if his training catches up to his body.

Pros: Might be best athlete along with Sap/Aaron Sexton. Teaches dance moves to Mrs. Carey.

Cons: Working at Wendy's has not helped his diet, or attendance.

Mrs. Owusu

2-star prospect

Despite having a low-star rating, I think the potential is very high for Mrs. O. Having to cart Emmanuel and his younger siblings around doesn't help her attendance, and neither does working in Canada. But once track is over and she can focus on herself a little bit more, look out for this new mommy to have a breakout Summer.

Pros: Diet has remained on point. Good mobility. Good role model for kids.

Cons: Attendance needs better showing.

Pat Luetz

2-star prospect

As our second-newest Champions Club member at the time of print, it will be difficult to know what to expect from Pat. He already paid for the Summer, so we know he's in. And he's shown a quick transition into our group that is rare for outsiders. So if I had to make a guess, I think Pat is going to out-perform his 2-star base ranking by Summer's end. So we will have to wait and see.

Pros: Really obsesses over good form. Embraces being coached. Brings in food.

Cons: Has not seen enough at-bats. Can't get cleans to save his life, yet.

...........

There you have it. Am I missing anyone? Hope to see you all in Champions Club t-shirts by July!

Rival Shoutout for Kris + Katie Bromm Photo Shop Contest

New Kid on the Block and Warren Mott junior Kris Campbell spent the weekend at a few different football camps trying to get his name out there for colleges. He went to Central Mighigan's Junior Day and met up with my cousin Josh, who is on their coaching staff now. Then he went to the Midwest Elite Camp in Wixom and got a shout out from someone at Rivals.

Keep up the good work Kris.


The Michgan basketball team got a cricual win yesterday against 18th ranked Purdue in a nationally televised game. But there was even bigger news. If you were tuned early in the first half, you may have noticed a certain ginger gazelle in the student section...

I'm issuing a challenge to see who can photoshop the best sign in her hands. Challenge ends on Friday night. Winner gets their picture as the Pic of the Week and 5 bucks.

Christmas in February

Since I was in 2nd grade I can remember reading my dad's Wolverine Magazine - skipping past the interviews, game recaps, and player features. Nope, none of those interested me in the slightest.

I wanted to see the high schoolers.

Justin Fargas, Drew Henson, Carl Tabb, Kelly Baraka, David Underwood, Prescott Burgess, and Gabriel Watson were all immortals in my eyes before their senior year in high school... mainly because Fred Jackson said so. (If you don't know who any of those names are, you might as well check out of this post before you've wasted any more time.)

The precipice of my recruit obsession was capped in '07 by the McGuffie Mixtape.

While in college and the few years after I did not follow recruiting as much because no amount of 5-star prospects could overcome a Brady Hoke regime. But now that football matters again in Ann Arbor, I have been trying to track the inner thoughts of about 28 high school seniors spread throughout the country. I am not alone in this. For specifics, see MGoBlog's latest post.

...........

Tomorrow marks a holiday in the football world known as National Signing Day. Hundreds of recruits across the country either fax a signed letter of intent to play at a college or, even better, hold a press conference keeping all fans involved praying to any and all gods known to man. It's kind of unhealthy, after all, seeing as you could simply go on the internet the next day... or wait till next season to see who takes the field. But nevertheless, ESPNU is holding a 24-hour show to televise the event. All directed towards 17 and 18 year olds. And I'll be watching as much of it as I can.

Another interesting thing to follow is the methods coaches use to recruit kids to come to their school. With their jobs - and the jobs of many of their assistants - riding on winning, they have to be good salesmen. Talking to a recruits parents, teachers, girlfriends, coaches, and relatives all come into play. Then the coach has to make it sound like they haven't said the same thing to four different recruits playing the same position. It's an art really. And sometimes you have to just get down and dirty.

One one hand, I could understand how it could be considered creepy to stalk on high schoolers. On the other hand, it really boils down to people rooting for the team they have been following since they were 5 years old. From the coaches' point of view, they have to make their football program relevant to high school kids - the future lifeline of their team. From the fans point of view, it comes with the whole charm of College Football.

College Football greets you with a smile, punches you in the balls, then kisses you on the forehead and says, "I'll see you in 9 months."

- In the Valleys of Kings and Pydamid Schemes

We only get three months of this thing every year (four months if you are lucky). Recruiting is simply the next best thing that can create those stirrings of Saturdays in the fall.

That is all. As Jacob says: /rant over

Wanted: 10 am Session

It is looking like the sessions for Summer 2015 are playing out very nicely. The only one we need to solidify right now is the 10 am rookie class. So far we have:

  • Maria
  • Madelyn
  • Elle
  • Robert Kroll

signed up for sure. We have a few more on the fringe of signing up, but a session of 8 is ideal. So if anyone has any kids in mind around the 7th-9th grade range, recruiting them to join would be a big help. Although we had three solid kids from last year's session, we were still missing the overall numbers the previous Summer's had. If we can bring it back this year, it will set us up very well for the future.

The 10 am session doesn't officially start until the week of the 14th since most of the kids are still in school, so you have plenty of time. If anyone has any questions, get ahold of Murley or me.

10 am Class of 2012


10 am Class of 2013


10 am Class of 2014