Thoughts on Big Ten Expansion

Tag: USC

4Aug 2023
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Thoughts on Big Ten Expansion

First of all, I’m not a college football writer. I hate talking about the business side of the sport, NIL, TV rights deals, etc. I’m a kid at heart who loves sports and hates the business aspect.

But I do love the games. The tradition. The uniforms. The clashes of playing styles. Air Raid vs. smash-mouth. Option vs. pro style. David vs. Goliath.

So if you want a discussion of how this opens up the Seattle TV market and increases the payout for the people in Piscataway, go somewhere else.

Otherwise, hit the jump.

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5Jun 2014
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Ty Isaac, Wolverine

Ty Isaac

USC transfer running back Ty Isaac has announced his intentions to take his talents to Washtenaw County. His mother has an illness that does not allow her to fly from their home in Joliet, Illinois, so the roughly four-hour drive to Ann Arbor is easier on her. He was also considering Illinois and Notre Dame with other teams like Northwestern, Northern Illinois, and Ohio State also showing interest.

Isaac is a 6’3″, 225 lb. player who was a 247 Composite 4-star, the #8 all-purpose back, and #54 overall in the 2013 class. As a freshman at USC, he carried the ball 40 times for 236 yards (5.9 yards/carry) and 2 touchdowns.

I wrote a scouting report on Isaac when he was in high school and considering Michigan (LINK).

Isaac was a backup for the Trojans last year, but they had a stacked backfield. He would have been a bit player once again this season, but he enters a Michigan backfield that is waiting for one of many players to emerge at the position. The two front-runners for the position had been sophomores De’Veon Smith and Derrick Green, both of whom were also in the 2013 class with Isaac. Isaac automatically enters that conversation as long as the NCAA waiver comes through that will allow him to play immediately, based upon his mother’s illness.

The depth chart will sort itself out. The best player(s) will play, but I have a hard time imagining all three players finishing out their careers at Michigan. Assuming that Isaac’s waiver is granted and he is eligible to play in 2014, I would not think that redshirting him would be a great idea. If he’s not immediately the best runner, he offers some value as a pass receiver out of the backfield and perhaps in an H-back type of role.

I won’t assign a TTB Rating to Isaac because it’s a little unfair, given that we’ve already seen him playing against FBS-level competition. However, I did say during the recruiting process that I would have ranked him above Green (and Smith), so I probably would have rated him somewhere in the 90’s.

Michigan will probably continue recruiting running backs for the 2015 class because they did not address the position in the 2014 class. It’s less dire of a need, but going two consecutive years without a running back (even if you got three in 2013) is not a good long-term strategy. By seniority, here’s the running back stable as it stands right now:

1. Justice Hayes, RS Jr.
2. Drake Johnson, RS So.
3. Derrick Green, So.
4. Ty Isaac, So.
5. De’Veon Smith, So.
6. Ross Douglas, RS Fr.

The last player to come from Joliet (IL) Catholic to Michigan was Mike Kolodziej, an injury-addled offensive lineman in the 2002 class.

2Dec 2013
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Schools in the News: Washington, USC

Southern California hired Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian away from the Huskies, which opens up recruiting season in the Pac-12. Michigan doesn’t typically compete with Washington for recruits, but here’s a look at the players and commits for each program that were recruited by Michigan.

2014 commits:
Current players: TE Darrell Daniels, DE Joe Mathis, DT Elijah Qualls, S Sean Parker*, WR John Ross, WR Da’morea Stringfellow, S Shaq Thompson

2014 commits:
Current players: Hit the link.

USC’s coaching/recruiting situation was addressed in the link above, which included a couple guys who thought seriously about Michigan. If they don’t like what Sarkisian brings to the table, they could look to transfer. However, Sarkisian’s history at USC and his relatively similar style of play to what the Trojans have been running will probably result in very little change of direction for the program.

As for the Huskies, we’ll see whom they hire. Parker very nearly signed with Michigan several years ago, but that’s water under the bridge. Mathis was very high on Michigan at one point, but he supposedly had some grade issues that scared off some teams, and he was also prone to saying very nice things about every school. Qualls was a part-time high school running back and seemed like another kid with fairly high interest in Michigan, but he never visited. Thompson, a 5-star safety, made some noise about visiting but was never a serious option, and the rest of the guys never showed much interest.

I do not expect this coaching development to have any effect on Michigan, but the guys to look at most closely would be Washington’s Mathis and Qualls, plus USC’s Ty Isaac and Leon McQuay III.

*Senior in 2013

29Sep 2013
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School in the News: USC

Leon McQuay III may have made a poor choice.

The news came out this morning that Lane Kiffin, head coach of the USC Trojans, is now . . . well . . . the ex-head coach of the USC Trojans. The Trojans lost to Arizona State on Saturday by a score of 62-41 and dropped to 3-2 on the year. It’s open season on their recruits, one of whom (2014 linebacker Derik Calhoun) has already opened up his recruitment. They have just six remaining commits in the current class, and none of them had been offered by Michigan. La Jolla (CA) Country Day offensive tackle Jordan Poland talked at one time about being highly interested in Michigan, but the Wolverines haven’t reciprocated that interest up to this point. And on a side note, class of 2015 quarterback David Sills – who committed to Lane Kiffin a few years ago – is the teammate of 2014 Michigan commits Freddy Canteen and Brandon Watson, which may be something to watch as the Wolverines search for more quarterback targets in the next class.

Transfers might be unlikely in the future, but here’s a list of the current USC non-seniors who held offers from the Wolverines at one point:

WR Nelson Agholor (So.)
S Dion Bailey (RS Jr.)
S Su’a Cravens (Fr.)
RB Justin Davis (Fr.)
LB Lamar Dawson (Jr.)
WR Jordan Farmer (Jr.)
CB Chris Hawkins (Fr.)
C Cyrus Hobbi (RS So.)
LB Michael Hutchings (Fr.)
RB Ty Isaac (Fr.)
WR Marqise Lee (Jr.)
S Leon McQuay III (Fr.)
LB Jabari Ruffin (RS Fr.)
CB Joshua Shaw (RS Jr.)
DT Delvon Simmons (Jr.)
OG Jordan Simmons (RS Fr.)
TE Randall Telfer (RS Jr.)
OT Max Tuerk (So.)
OG Aundrey Walker (Jr.)