2017 Recruiting Update: January 11, 2017

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11Jan 2017
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2017 Recruiting Update: January 11, 2017




Chuck Filiaga with Jim Harbaugh

COMMITMENT

Aledo (TX) Aledo offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga committed to Michigan (LINK).

OFF THE BOARD

Clinton (MS) Clinton running back Cam Akers committed to Florida State at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He was considering Ohio State, so this is somewhat of a recruiting win for Michigan. He enrolled early, so there’s no chance of him flipping now, either. Akers looks to me like the best back in the 2017 class.

Bridgeton (NJ) Bridgeton safety Markquese Bell committed to Maryland. This is a pretty good pull for D.J. Durkin. Bell is the 247 Composite #188 player and #7 athlete in the country. He was a Michigan lean at one point, but Michigan supposedly put him on the back burner. He also considered Clemson, Ohio State, and Rutgers. Two of those things are not like the other.

Wylie (TX) East running back Eno Benjamin committed to Arizona State. Benjamin named Michigan to his top six, and I had hoped that the Wolverines would somehow be able to reel him in despite their pursuit of Najee Harris. He seems like a good kid and trained with former Michigan running back David Underwood. However, the Wolverines stopped pursuing him weeks before his final decision.

Hit the jump for several other news bits.

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10Jan 2017
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Visitors: January 13-15, 2017

Brandon Sebastian (image via Scout)

2017

Brandon Sebastian – CB – Cheshire (CT) Cheshire Academy: Sebastian is a 6’1″, 180 lb. corner who has been committed to Boston College since April 9, 2016. He didn’t commit to Don Brown, but the Screaming Eagles offered him before Brown left for Michigan. Sebastian is a 3-star, the #114 cornerback, and #1191 overall. He also has offers from Connecticut, Michigan, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Temple. He claims a 4.32 forty, a 39″ vertical, and a 3.89 shuttle. As a teammate of Michigan commit Tarik Black, Michigan has a pretty good chance of flipping him. This is an official visit. UPDATE: Sebastian’s visit was canceled.

2018

Will Lawrence – OT – Memphis (TN) Harding: Lawrence is a 6’4″, 285 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Texas, among others. He’s a 3-star, the #29 OT, and #376 overall.

10Jan 2017
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Pep Hamilton, Wolverine

Pep Hamilton (right) with Andrew Luck (image via Zimbio)

Pep Hamilton has reportedly been hired as Michigan’s passing game coordinator and assistant head coach. He will be working with the quarterbacks (along with Jim Harbaugh) and the wide receivers. Hamilton replaces Jedd Fisch, who went to UCLA as the Bruins’ offensive coordinator. The assistant head coach title is likely a little extra benefit thrown in there to help convince him to leave the NFL.

Hamilton went to high school in Charlotte, NC, and then played quarterback at Howard. After he graduated he became the quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator at Howard. Since then he has spent time with the New York Jets (QB/WR), San Francisco 49ers (QB), Chicago Bears (QB), Stanford Cardinal (QB/WR/OC), Indianapolis Colts (OC), and Cleveland Browns (QB/AHC). He was Jim Harbaugh’s wide receivers coach at Stanford in 2010, and then he became David Shaw’s offensive coordinator after Harbaugh and Greg Roman went to the NFL.

STANFORD

  • 2011: #6 OFEI
  • 2012: #54 OFEI

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

  • 2013: #20 Weighted Offense
  • 2014: #22 Weighted Offense
  • 2015: #32 Weighted Offense

His 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons were all with Andrew Luck at quarterback. His 2012 year was with Josh Nunes and Kevin Hogan at QB, when Hogan seriously outplayed a limited Nunes. In his one year as wide receivers coach at Stanford, Doug Baldwin caught 58 passes for 857 yards (14.8 yards/catch) and 9 touchdowns.

I like this hire. Hamilton has NFL experience, and he’s been around Harbaugh in the past. He knows what to expect from the aspect of competition and energy. We also know that Harbaugh isn’t afraid to step outside of his coaching tree (Don Brown, Jedd Fisch, etc.) to make hires, so if Hamilton couldn’t hack it, Harbaugh wouldn’t have targeted him.

I know some people aren’t thrilled with Hamilton because he coached for the Browns and his success was mediocre at times, but highly successful college and NFL coaches aren’t looking for co-coordinator jobs. Jedd Fisch got fired from the Jacksonville Jaguars before he got hired and did some good things at Michigan. If you’re at a spot like Michigan, you’re looking for a pro-style up-and-comer from the lower ranks of football, or you’re looking for an FBS/NFL retread who has fallen on slightly harder times. Since that first category doesn’t really exist right now (everyone’s running a spread offense), Michigan was bound to get someone like Hamilton all along. I went through some options last week (Erik Campbell, T.J. Weist, etc.), and they all fall in that category or they’re graduate assistant types looking to move up in the world.

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9Jan 2017
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National Championship Mini-Preview: Alabama vs. Clemson

Artavis Scott

WHEN AND WHERE TO WATCH

The game will start shortly after 8:00 p.m. The broadcast will be on ESPN with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Samantha Ponder, and Tom Rinaldi in their various booth and sideline roles.

ALABAMA ROSTER NOTES

  • Players offered by Michigan: DT Jonathan Allen, CB Shyheim Carter, LB Ben Davis, CB Minkah Fitzpatrick, TE Miller Forristall, WR Robert Foster, LB Terrell Hall, DE Da’shawn Hand, RB Damien Harris, TE Hale Hentges, CB Nigel Knott, CB Jared Mayden, LB Joshua McMillon, RB Bo Scarbrough, TE Irv Smith, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, OT Jonah Williams, LB Mack Wilson
  • RB Damien Harris is a one-time Michigan commit

CLEMSON ROSTER NOTES

  • Players offered by Clemson: DE Austin Bryant, WR T.J. Chase, DE Clelin Ferrell, OT Jake Fruhmorgen, OG Zach Giella, OT Mitch Hyatt, CB Trayvon Mullen, S Tanner Muse, LB Dorian O’Daniel, WR Diondre Overton, DT Scott Pagano, WR Artavis Scott,
  • WR Artavis Scott was a high school teammate of Michigan center Mason Cole

THINGS TO WATCH

  • Alabama could become the first team to go 15-0.
  • Alabama beat Clemson 45-40 in last year’s national championship game.
  • Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian was hired for that role next year, but he steps in early after offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin left for the head coaching job at FAU. Sarkisian was just an offensive analyst on staff prior to this promotion.

RANDOM NOTE

  • I saw Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney at a clinic a couple years ago. After that and reading about him, I really like the guy. He seems like a very down-to-Earth type of person, and he’s genuine in his passion for the game of football. I also saw Nick Saban at a clinic several years ago, and I was not as impressed. I know Saban has had a lot more success, but Swinney’s a tough guy not to like, in my opinion.

THOUGHTS ON THE GAME

  • Clemson lost a lot of talent last year. I know every elite team does, but their personnel losses were significant on the defensive line and in the defensive backfield. They’ve got a puncher’s chance, and I love their wide receivers.
  • Alabama is very good at every level. Clemson has an obvious advantage at QB with Deshaun Watson over Jalen Hurts, and they also have an advantage at WR. But that’s about it.
  • Alabama 38, Clemson 34

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9Jan 2017
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Site News: New hosting service needed

As you may have figured out, the website was down yet again for the majority of the day yesterday. It was also down for most of New Year’s Day. I have been assured by my hosting service at times that they could handle the amount of traffic at TTB, but that is apparently not the case on their shared servers.

Therefore, I am now in need of a new hosting service. I put this out on Twitter yesterday, and here are some of the suggestions I received:

  • A2hosting
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Host Gator

I am hesitant to pay for a dedicated server, which was suggested by my current provider, because they start at about $80 per month. That would take a big chunk out of my revenue. Since I don’t have a store, do consulting, make public appearances, etc., ad revenue from Google and Amazon is my entire source of income for the site. I do get over 300,000 page views per month, but the next few weeks will see an increase in traffic due to National Signing Day, so I at least need something that will auto-scale for traffic fluctuations.

Anyway, if you have experience and/or suggestions concerning this type of issue, please hit me up in the comments. Thanks!

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