The Michigan State - Stanford Rose Bowl game lost out to dinner with my grandson and his family and then to the movie - "Walter Mitty." However, I was able to watch the first quarter. Also heard the final score on our way home from Findlay. The game may have been better than the movie. Oh, well!
I gave it up to the Spartans, and more importantly, to Mark Dantonio on the way home. Congratulations to the Spartans! They beat a good Buckeye team and beat a good Stanford team. They also proved that losing one player does not affect the team's outcome. Now maybe losing three or four might, but not one. I say that and wonder what if Braxton Miller had missed a game of that importance.
When Mark Dantonio was an assistant years ago at Michigan State, he told me that he had offered a player from Groveport High School. I questioned him about that offer. He said he liked Eric Smith's athleticism, attitude, and that he saw the six foot DB "dunk" a basketball. The player played at Michigan State and later went to start for the New York Jets. From that point on I have respected his ability to evaluate talent and make a player better.
At McD's this morning a guy told me that the defensive backfield was made up of Drummond a 3 star, Wayne a 2 star, Dennard a 2 star, and Lewis a 4 star. No 5 stars. Of course, most people know what I think of the silliness of the star system. But it sells and brings in money. Honestly, I am not going to check this information, but it is what a good football guy told me.
Also cheers go out to the small, neighboring town of Carey, Ohio. Number 94, Mike Dennis, is a listed TE from Carey. Huge and more of a third offensive tackle for the Spartans. Guessin 6'7-300. Mike was a good prospect coming out of high school, but one I thought would red shirt and eventually contribute. Guessin he was not a 5 star, maybe not even a 4 star. Not guessin - but I saw him playing last night in the Rose Bowl. Not bad for a guy who thought that he was a basketball player - first.
Congrats to Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska, as well. Even though only two Big Ten teams have won bowl games, the Big Ten improved its image. Midwest football is different, and, simply does not produce as many "natural-big guys in the trenches," as the South. Obviously, Midwest head football coaches do not take a back-seat to any section of the country. Different kind of player, but I will take the Midwest prospect.
Finally, a cheer should go out to Johnny Lowdermilk, the DB from Iowa. Overlook the embarrassing play that he made yesterday. After going 71 yards with a pick, Johnny dropped the ball thinking that he had scored, but officials determined that he dropped the ball on the one yard line. Out of Carrollton High School, his only offer was from Kent State. During the summer, Iowa lost a recruit and called Johnny Lowdermilk. He flipped and went to Iowa on scholarship. Guessin that he was not a 5 star.
As recruiting season winds down for the 2014 Class, a new season begins for the 2015. Recruits !!1 BLOCK out all of the noise. Focus on getting better. Do not worry about the 5 star stuff. Worry about what you can control. Get better. Do not worry about what recruiting reporters think of you ability. Get better!