This past Saturday, Brian Cole did something quite a bit less insane and yet still more creative.
Cole, a four-star cornerback/athlete from Saginaw, Michigan, committed to the Wolverines by channeling the tactics of another free agent.
Earlier this summer, of course, LeBron James announced he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers by writing an essay for Sports Illustrated, which was accompanied with a photo of James and the words “I’m Coming Home” printed in bold font.
Cole must have taken notes, because here’s how he told Michigan fans he was heading to Ann Arbor:
1. We’ve reached the final stop of the 2014 media days tour, as the Big Ten has its moment in Chicago over the next two days. New Penn State coach James Franklin will be a main attraction, I’m sure, along with Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Nebraska’s Bo Pelini. Franklin isn’t afraid to upset some people along the way to rebuilding Penn State, writes Jeremy Fowler. Among the players attending: Buckeyes QB Braxton Miller and Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon, both Heisman candidates for 2014.
2. Joe Mixon, a five-star freshman running back at Oklahoma, has been accused of punching a woman in the face, breaking four bones. Norman police have confirmed some incident to took place but have not made any arrests and are conducting an investigation. Obviously, this could hold serious repercussions for Mixon and OU entering the fall.
3. Stanford coach David Shaw gave lengthy and insightful comments to colleague Bruce Feldman last week on pay-for-play and the changing NCAA landscape. Shaw says a lot, so you should take a few minutes to sift through his own words, but one notable stance he’s repeatedly taken is against the “starving athlete” narrative, which has been a popular rallying cry from student-athletes seeking to be paid. Shaw doesn’t deny some players face difficult financial situations, but says it’s “hard for me to believe that there is not enough money to eat,” given his knowledge of what’s included in a scholarship.
2. After Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops knocked Texas A&M’s non-conference schedule last week, Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin issued a challenge to the Sooners: Anytime you want to play, let’s go.
3. Personal quarterback coaches are becoming ever more popular in college football, and Dan Wolken writes about that trend here. Most high-profile college QBs get extra reps with someone in the offseason, but some college coaches, such as Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, don’t allow their players to seek this instruction. "We've got good quarterback coaches," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is quoted as saying in USA Today. "My guys aren't going out there. I'll coach them. When they go to pro ball, they can do whatever they want. We'll coach our guys. I don't think it benefits you. We know what we're doing, too."
I’d respectfully disagree with Fisher. It’s understandable why coaches wouldn’t want private instructors implementing changes that run counter to the system a QB must operate in when he returns to campus, but with some communication, these private coaches should be invaluable resources for QBs. NCAA rules limit the time coaches can spend with their players, so why force a player to give up a chance to get better in the offseason? Communicate with the private coach what you don’t want messed with, and let them work within that framework.
It’s in the private coach’s best interest to build a reputation of not sabotaging the work college coaches have already done. Don’t you think Auburn’s Nick Marshall could have greatly improved his passing skills by spending a summer with George Whitfield or someone else? Just seems strange to deny him that, as it doesn’t help Auburn.
2. Speaking of the Meyers, Urban’s wife spoke longingly about the family’s time at Florida and wishes they could have stayed in Gainesville much longer. She also had a blunt message for the bitter Florida fans on message boards still trashing the family’s name.