Big Ten: LaTerryal Savoy


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


Michigan has issued its injury report for Saturday's game against Eastern Michigan.

OUT
  • Guard David Moosman (shoulder)
  • Guard Tim McAvoy (knee)
PROBABLE
Michigan gets a boost from Hemingway's return. He and freshman quarterback Tate Forcier had great chemistry in the season opener against Western Michigan, hooking up for two touchdowns. Moosman is a starter, so his absence hurts a bit after he sustained a separated shoulder last week against Notre Dame.

John Ferrara likely will replace Moosman against Eastern Michigan, and redshirt freshman Elliott Mealer also could be in the mix at guard.

Michigan also announced its game captains for Eastern Michigan: wide receiver Jon Conover, defensive end Brandon Graham, kicker Jason Olesnavage and wide receiver LaTerryal Savoy.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg


Some of you have suggested I have a man crush on Tate Forcier. Well, at least I can pick 'em.

After briefly looking like a freshman midway through the fourth quarter, Forcier regained his poise down the stretch to lead Michigan's game-winning drive against Notre Dame. He consistently used his feet to make big plays and completed six huge throws on the Wolverines' decisive drive.

His most impressive play came with 30 seconds left, when he evaded the rush, opted not to run despite ample room and hit LaTerryal Savoy for an 18-yard completion inside the Fighting Irish 5-yard line. After Savoy dropped a touchdown, Forcier came back with another throw to senior Greg Mathews.

Forcier finished with 240 pass yards, 70 rush yards and three touchdowns (2 pass, 1 rush). Denard Robinson was a nonfactor in this game, and Forcier is the team's clear No. 1 going forward.

If Michigan isn't back, the Wolverines are pretty darn close. To win a game in which they didn't defend particularly well, especially in the secondary, speaks volumes about how far this program has come in a year. Cornerback Boubacar Cissoko had a game he'd like to forget, but Forcier, the receivers and the run game really picked up the slack. Brandon Minor was huge in his return (106 rush yards, TD).

Michigan might be the second best team in the Big Ten, depending on what happens tonight in Columbus. The Wolverines will definitely enter the national rankings this week and should start 4-0 before heading to East Lansing on Oct. 3.

It was also a much needed victory for the Big Ten, which struggled in the early games and could be facing a few more losses tonight. I've always written that the Big Ten can't be good without Michigan being good, and the Wolverines are certainly headed in that direction under second-year coach Rich Rodriguez.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Michigan junior wide receiver Toney Clemons is leaving the program and has been granted his release.

Clemons appeared in 19 games for the Wolverines, starting two games as a true freshman in 2007 and one last fall. He has 12 catches for 106 yards in his career.

Concerns about fitting in with Michigan's spread offense proved to be the deciding factor for Clemons, who is a cousin of former Michigan star wideout/return man Steve Breaston.

"It's time for me to make a change and go in another direction than what I am needed for," Clemons told the Valley News Dispatch. "I still love Michigan. It's still my No. 1. Athletically, this is the right move for me. I want to take my blessings and gifts elsewhere."

Clemons wants to transfer to a Pac-10, ACC or SEC school, though he said he hasn't ruled out Big East members Pitt and West Virginia, both of which are close to his hometown of New Kensington, Pa. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Clemons appears on Michigan's roster for spring ball but had not practiced.

"I had a long talk with [head coach Rich Rodriguez] and he wasn't too happy with me leaving," Clemons said. "I just don't want to play in a spread offense. This is best for me as an athlete."

Clemons becomes the third offensive player who started a game last season to transfer from the team. Running back Sam McGuffie left for Rice, and quarterback Steven Threet hasn't announced his next destination.

The Wolverines seem to be featuring smaller, quicker receivers in the spread and have decent depth with Martavious Odoms, Greg Mathews, Darryl Stonum, LaTerryal Savoy, Junior Hemingway and others. Former quarterback Justin Feagin also is working as a slot receiver, and Michigan in February signed Je'Ron Stokes, an ESPNU 150 prospect.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Busted bracket? Reading about football will make the pain go away. 

"Tressel seemed smitten when talk of the Wildcat offense came up during a visit with Hoover High School head coach Don Hertler Jr. and former Newark Catholic head coach J.D. Graham. The three talked shop for about two hours at a North Canton eatery.

"What has Tressel interested is all that can be done out of it and how much preparation an opposing defense needs to get ready. Who knows where Pryor could line up?"

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The first Big Ten teleconference is complete. Here are some notes from the call:

OHIO STATE

  • Defensive tackle Doug Worthington will play Saturday against Youngstown State but will not start the game, coach Jim Tressel said. Worthington was arrested last month for DUI and had a pretrial hearing continued on Monday. Worthington started 11 games last fall but will play behind senior Nader Abdallah. "Exactly how much he'll be playing, I don't know," Tressel said, "but he'll be suited up and ready to go."
  • Terrelle Pryor might be listed as Ohio State's third-team quarterback, but the gap between the heralded freshman and backup Joe Bauserman is negligible. "I wouldn't go so far as to say one is the third guy and one is the second guy," Tressel said. Expect Pryor to make his collegiate debut Saturday, and not only in mop-up time. "What we've done at the beginning of nearly every season is we've had multiple quarterbacks play in the first half," Tressel said. "I don't think we're looking at waiting till the end of games."

MICHIGAN STATE

  • The Spartans' Week 1 depth chart is out and there are some surprises at defensive end, where four potential starters are listed. Senior Brandon Long and Trevor Anderson, a transfer from Cincinnati, had been projected to start but could share time with fifth-year senior Dwayne Holmes and sophomore Colin Neely. I can't see any way Anderson doesn't become the full-time starter, but it's interesting that he hasn't been given the job yet.
  • Senior Kendell Davis-Clark will start at free safety as the Spartans are still without projected starter Roderick Jenrette, who recently was asked to leave the team to address personal matters. Davis-Clark moves over from cornerback, where he started 14 games during the last two seasons. Talented sophomore Chris L. Rucker will start in Davis-Clark's old spot, and players like Ashton Henderson provide depth. "We could play six corners right now," coach Mark Dantonio said, "so we felt like we could make that change and not suffer any problems."
  • Fifth-year senior Mike Bacon beat out redshirt freshman Joel Foreman for the starting spot at left guard.
  • Sophomore Mark Dell and redshirt freshman B.J. Cunningham are listed as the starting wide receivers ahead of Blair White and Deon Curry. True freshman Keshawn Martin is listed as the third-stringer behind Cunningham, while classmate Fred Smith is fourth string behind Dell.
  • Safety Otis Wiley will handle punt returns. Backup running back A.J. Jimmerson and Davis-Clark are on kickoff returns as Michigan State tries to replace superstar Devin Thomas.

WISCONSIN

  • Star tight end Travis Beckum will dress for Saturday's game against Akron, but it's unclear whether he'll play because of a lingering hamstring injury.
  • Coach Bret Bielema said decision-making was never Allan Evridge's problem, but the quarterback had to learn to be more patient with his reads and progressions in the pocket. Evridge has made those adjustments to earn the Badgers' starting quarterback job. "Here's a guy who was so anxious to be The Guy, who put a lot on himself," Bielema said of Evridge, who started seven games for Kansas State in 2005. "We've calmed him down."
  • Bielema also is spearheading a proposal made by Big Ten coaches to implement an early signing day on the recruiting calendar. The date would be the first Wednesday after the last active recruiting weekend in December.

PURDUE

  • Jaycen Taylor's season-ending knee injury has put Purdue on notice to find a second option at running back to complement starter Kory Sheets. Four players are in the mix, but sophomore Dan Dierking could have the inside track after playing in all 13 games (starting one) last fall and racking up 181 rushing yards and two touchdowns. "We really felt like Sheets and Taylor would split playing time there," coach Joe Tiller said. "What we have to do from a management point of view is make sure we don't use Kory Sheets so much that he wears down."
  • Tiller said having a Week 1 bye might actually help Purdue given all the injuries it had in the spring and the uncertainty at running back and other spots. The Boilermakers' Big Ten bye fell in Week 4, but they had to play Notre Dame that week. Tiller said Purdue also won't have a normal bye week next season before getting one in 2010.
  • A secondary that has added Dwight Mclean and a healthy Torri Williams has impressed Tiller thus far in camp. "It might be the best-looking secondary that we've had since maybe 2001, something like that," he said. "I look for us to be much improved."

MICHIGAN

  • Coach Rich Rodriguez has been pleased with the progress of the wide receivers, who along with the running backs can pick up his offense a bit quicker than quarterbacks or linemen can. In addition to older players like Greg Mathews and LaTerryal Savoy, freshmen Martavious Odoms and Roy Roundtree have been impressive in practice. "We hope to have six or seven guys ready to play on Saturday," Rodriguez said.
  • Michigan can't afford any added confusion on offense, but Rodriguez isn't concerned about adjusting to the new clock rules this season. "We usually go at a pretty good tempo anyway," he said. "Conditioning is a bigger factor than it's ever been."

IOWA

  • The Hawkeyes' streak of 30 consecutive home sellouts is in jeopardy, which coach Kirk Ferentz attributes partly to economic impact of the floods that ravaged the state earlier this summer. "The challenges of our state are paramount to our challenges on Saturday," Ferentz said.
  • The coach added that he expects to announce
    Iowa's new player development coach in the next month. The position was added in response to a wave of off-field problems involving first-year Hawkeyes players.

NORTHWESTERN

  • Coach Pat Fitzgerald praised wide receiver Jeremy Ebert, the only true freshman on Northwestern's Week 1 depth chart. Ebert, a quarterback in high school, quickly stood out in preseason camp because he arrived in peak conditioning level, not usually seen among true freshmen.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The man who will take the first snap for Michigan in the Rich Rodriguez era remains a mystery. So does the guy who will take the first handoff.

Rodriguez listed no definitive starter at either running back or quarterback on his depth chart for the season opener against Utah, which was released Monday.

It's no surprise that an "OR" separates quarterbacks Steven Threet and Nick Sheridan, but true freshmen running backs Sam McGuffie and Michael Shaw also have the same designation. It's significant that both true freshmen were listed ahead of veterans Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown on the depth chart, showing Rodriguez's confidence in his young skill players, who might better fit his system than the returnees.

We aren't the only ones wondering who will start under center.

"I don't know who the quarterback is," junior wide receiver Greg Mathews said Monday. "I just try in practice to go with both of them, to get my timing down with both of them because you never know. One could go in there and throw a couple interceptions and then you have to bring the next one in. You have to be prepared for everything."

Mathews said both quarterbacks have been practicing with the first-team offense, as is the case for most of Michigan's skill players. Though the offense won't be huddling nearly as much as in years past, both quarterbacks have shown different styles of leadership so far.

"Nick's definitely a comedian," Mathews said. "He's the funniest kid ever. He just likes to keep everybody loose and joke around. Steven Threet, he's more of a serious guy, but I enjoy both of them."

This is notable because Mathews isn't the first player to describe the two quarterbacks in this manner.

Sheridan is the former walk-on with no recruiting hype who most thought would never come close to having a chance to start at quarterback, but he seems loose and confident. Threet is the guy projected to win the job all along. He's got the size, received a decent amount of recruiting attention coming out of high school and has some familiarity running the spread. But an all-business approach could be a sign of nervousness.

Here's how starting right tackle Stephen Schilling described the two when we talked last week.

"Nick might be a little more relaxed, laid back, trying to find guys. Steve's a little more serious. But they both want to work hard and they both want to bring a lot of energy to the huddle."

Other Wolverines depth chart notes include:

  • The starting spots at center and right guard remain open, though David Moosman is listed at both places and should start at one.
  • Freshman Martavious Odoms is the only wide receiver to have locked up a starting spot. Mathews and freshman Darryl Stonum continue to compete at the "X" receiver, while Stonum and junior LaTerryal Savoy are listed as potential starters at the "Z" spot. Expect Stonum to play and contribute immediately.
  • Junior Carson Butler and fifth-year senior Mike Massey continue to compete for the starting tight end spot. What's somewhat surprising -- other than Butler not cementing himself is the starter -- is that freshman Kevin Koger also could start there.
  • As expected, the defense is much more defined. Obi Ezeh is listed ahead of John Thompson at middle linebacker and will be flanked by Austin Panter and Marell Evans. The starting safeties are Stevie Brown at free and Brandon Harrison at strong.
  • Harrison and Morgan Trent are the primary kickoff returners and Donovan Warren will start off returning punts, but Odoms is in the mix at both spots.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Just got back from watching about 70 minutes of Michigan's first practice, including the first six periods. We saw more than I thought, but you can't take too much away from it.

The biggest news was that reserve running back Kevin Grady participated in the workout despite being suspended from the team following a drunken driving arrest July 2.

Head coach Rich Rodriguez will address Grady's situation when he meets with the media around 5:45 p.m. ET. Rodriguez said at Big Ten media days that Grady had been suspended and had to meet certain demands to get reinstated. It appears as though he's met them.

"It's kind of on a week-by-week basis on him getting back," Rodriguez said July 24. "He has to do certain things internally within the program to get back on the team. And then once he does that, there will be some playing-time penalties as well and then he's on a strict kind of a watch. He has to earn his way on the team, and we'll take it from there."

Grady, who police said had a blood-alcohol level of 0.281 at the time of his arrest, pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge July 9. His next court date is set for Aug. 14, and he faces up to 93 days in jail if convicted.

The 5-foot-9, 228-pound Grady worked alongside Brandon Minor, Carlos Brown, Sam McGuffie and the other backs.

Other observations:

  • True freshman quarterback Justin Feagin already has changed numbers twice, so it was hard to spot him right away. Some of us thought safety Stevie Brown was taking snaps at quarterback until informed Feagin now wears No. 3 after previously donning Nos. 14 and 5. Feagin and Brown are among several pairs wearing the same number.
  • Feagin's speed is immediately noticeable, and he looked comfortable running some of the basic option pitches and throws in the spread offense. My guess is he'll be used to run some option this fall.
  • Four players rotated at quarterback -- Steven Threet, Nick Sheridan, David Cone and Feagin. Brown, a quarterback in high school who ran the spread, also took some snaps after missing the spring with a broken finger. Threet has a smooth throwing motion and excellent size, but he's not the fastest quarterback on the field. Both Threet and David Cone tower above Feagin and Nick Sheridan, who looked a bit shaky on some of his passes.
  • The media entered the sweltering practice field to the sweet sounds of Motown, being played from a golf cart driven by a team official. Like many teams, Michigan blares music to simulate crowd noise. We were treated to Marvin Gaye's "How Sweet it is" and several other hits.
  • Tight end Carson Butler looks great, slimmer and stronger. He should be a major asset for Rodriguez and the new starting quarterback.
  • Sophomore Toney Clemons stood out among the wide receivers. He's got excellent size (6-foot-3) and should be able to stretch the field. I made a point to watch freshman Darryl Stonum, who drew praise from offensive coordinator Calvin Magee following an out route. I was also impressed with LaTerryal Savoy, who has good size.
  • Rodriguez spent most of the media viewing period with the offense, primarily watching the four quarterbacks. He also worked with a group of wide receivers on how to read different coverages. After Threet ran an option play, Rodriguez went over and told him to take a different angle.
  • Almost no one was watching the defense, and I fell victim to it a little bit. But the first-team defensive line -- ends Tim Jamison and Brandon Graham, and tackles Terrance Taylor and Will Johnson -- looked good. Taylor is a big, big boy.
  • Freshman Michael Shaw seemed to be getting a lot of work at wide receiver. It's a little weird to see No. 20 in maize and blue who isn't Mike Hart.
  • We were greeted by new strength coach Mike Barwis as we entered the practice field. Yes, his voice really does sound like that.
  • Walking through Michigan's weight room on the way out, I stopped to check out the team-high totals for several categories. Johnson tops the bench-press chart at 500 pounds, Taylor squatted a team-best 625 pounds and cornerback Morgan Trent ran a 4.13 in the 40-yard dash.
Check back later as Rodriguez and several players address the media.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- This probably needs a disclaimer, so here it is.

Michigan won't go 3-9. Michigan won't have the nation's worst rushing offense for most of the season. Michigan won't go three plus games without scoring an offensive touchdown. Michigan won't allow a nation-high 58 sacks.

But from a pure personnel standpoint on offense, there are some obvious parallels between what Michigan lost after last season and what Notre Dame lost following 2006. And unlike the Fighting Irish, the Wolverines are adjusting to a new coach (Rich Rodriguez) and a new system. That should be a good thing, given the conservative play-calling and wasted talent of recent seasons, but it's still something to consider.  

Here's a position-by-position look at the two offenses, who was lost and who returned.

MICHIGAN 2008
 
Quarterback
Who's gone
  • Chad Henne: Four-year starter, school's career passing leader, last fall went 162-for-279 passing, 1,938 yards, 17 TDs, 9 INTs, 130.5 rating
  • Ryan Mallett: Started three games last season, completed 61 of 141 passes, 892 yards, 7 TDs, 5 INTs, 105.7 rating. Transferred to Arkansas.
Up next
  • Steven Threet, Fr.: No statistics in college, Georgia Tech transfer sat out last season as per NCAA rules.
  • Nick Sheridan, So.: Appeared in two games last season, did not attempt a pass, served as backup holder.
  • Justin Feagin, Fr.: Dual-threat combined for 44 touchdowns (25 rushing, 19 passing) as a high school senior.
Running back
Who's gone
  • Mike Hart: Four-year starter, school's career rushing leader, last season had 265 carries, 1,361 rushing yards, 14 TDs.
Up next
  • Brandon Minor, Jr.: Appeared in 12 games last season, had 90 carries for 385 yards, 1 TD.
  • Carlos Brown, Jr.: Started three games last season, 75 carries for 381 yards (5.1 ypc average), 4 TDs.
  • Kevin Grady, Jr.: Currently suspended after DUI arrest, missed 2007 season with knee injury, had 187 rushing yards on 55 carries in 2006.
Wide receiver/tight end
Who's gone
  • Mario Manningham: Three-year contributor had team-high 72 catches for 1,174 yards (16.3 ypr) and 12 touchdowns last season.
  • Adrian Arrington: Second-leading receiver with 67 catches for 882 yards and eight touchdowns.
Up next
  • Greg Mathews, Jr.: Third-leading receiver last season with 39 receptions for 366 yards, 3 TDs.
  • Carson Butler, Jr.: Tight end started six of final seven games, had 20 catches for 246 yards, 2 TDs.
  • Mike Massey, Sr.: Tight end started four games, caught four passes for 38 yards.
  • Junior Hemmingway, So.: Caught four passes for 37 yards in 10 games last season.
  • LaTerryal Savor, Jr.: Had one catch for nine yards last season.
  • Darryl Stonum, Fr.: Freshman had 1,910 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns in prep career.
Offensive line
Who's gone
  • Jake Long: All-American left tackle went No. 1 overall in the NFL draft
  • Adam Kraus: All-conference left guard made 35 starts.
  • Justin Boren: Yep, he's definitely gone after starting the first eight games at center last fall.
  • Jeremy Ciulla: Started five games at right guard last season.
  • Alex Mitchell: Started five games at right guard last season.
Up next
  • Stephen Schilling, So.: Only returning starter primarily played right tackle with two starts at right guard last season.
  • Mark Ortmann, Jr.: Projected left tackle made two starts at right tackle in 2007.
  • Tim McAvoy, Jr.: Made only start at right guard last season.
  • David Moosman, Jr.: Backup center has appeared in seven career games.
  • Cory Zirbel, Jr.: Has appeared in 21 career games, played all offensive line positions except center.
 
NOTRE DAME 2007
 
Quarterback
Who's gone
  • Brady Quinn: Four-year starter, school's career passing leader, in 2006 completed 289 of 467 passes for 3,426 yards, 37 TDs, 7 INTs, 146.7 rating.
Up next
  • Jimmy Clausen, Fr.: True freshman ranked as nation's No. 1 recruit after passing for 3,428 yards and 49 touchdowns as a prep senior.
  • Evan Sharpley, So.: Had two collegiate pass attempts as Quinn's backup in 2006.
  • Demetrius Jones Fr.: Second-year player considered dual threat after racking up big numbers in high school.
Running back
Who's gone
  • Darius Walker: Three-year starter, in 2006 had 255 carries for 1,267 yards, 7 touchdowns.
Up next
  • Travis Thomas, Sr.: Former reserve running back switched to linebacker in 2006 before returning to offense.
  • James Aldridge, So.: Team's second-leading rusher with 142 yards on 37 carries.
  • Armando Allen, Fr.: True freshman missed senior season in high school with injury. 
  • Robert Hughes, Fr.: True freshman had 1,780 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns as a high school senior.
Wide receiver/tight end
Who's gone
  • Jeff Samardzija: School's career receiving leader had 78 receptions for 1,017 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2006.
  • Rhema McKnight: Four-year starter had 67 receptions for 907 yards and a team-high 15 touchdowns in 2006.
  • Darius Walker: Running back ranked third on the team in receptions (56) for 391 yards.
  • Marcus Freeman: Backup tight end had nine receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Up next
  • David Grimes, Jr.: Ranked fourth on the team in receptions (27) and receiving yards (224) as a sophomore. 
  • John Carlson, Sr.: Mackey Award finalist in 2006 ranked third on the team with 634 receiving yards, scored four touchdowns. 
  • George West, So.: Had two receptions for 14 yards and scored on an 11-yard run as a freshman. 
  • Robby Parris, So.: Appeared in seven games and caught one pass in 2006.
Offensive line
Who's gone
  • Ryan Harris: Mainstay at left tackle started all four seasons.
  • Dan Santucci: Two-year starter at guard.
  • Bob Morton: Multiyear starter at both center and guard.
Up next
  • John Sullivan, Sr.: Started the final two and a half seasons at center. 
  • Sam Young, So.: Started as a true freshman at right tackle before moving to the left side.
  • Paul Duncan, Jr.: Appeared in 12 games as a reserve in 2006.
  • Mike Turkovich, Jr.: Played sparingly in nine games as a sophomore, limited by neck injury.
  • Eric Olsen, So.: Appeared in eight games as a backup guard in 2006. 

WHY MICHIGAN WILL BE BETTER

Michigan returns more at running back and should be able to field a stronger group of wide receivers to help the new starting quarterback. The biggest key for the Wolverines will be developing the offensive line. Notre Dame's primary error in 2007 was not emphasizing physical play up front in the preseason. Michigan has made strength and conditioning the focus of the winter, spring and summer. The Wolverines should see it pay off this fall. Though both teams lost record-setting playmakers and Rich Rodriguez historically struggles in his first season at a new school, Michigan should adjust easier.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Here's the second half of my interview with Michigan offensive coordinator Calvin Magee.

How is Carlos Brown doing coming off the broken finger?

Calvin Magee: He'll be in camp, ready to go, yes.

And then up front, there are some questions about depth. What are you looking for from the offensive line in practice?

CM: We've got to get the young kids in here real early and get them going, which is a big plan for us. I was really excited about them leaving spring, with the guys that competed. We lack a lot of experience across the board, but they did everything we asked them to do in spring, and I couldn't be more pleased leaving spring with their efforts. I've got some positions we need to get more depth at, but I like the guys we got.

There's been so much talk about players' conditioning and the strides made this summer. Is that most important for the offensive linemen, given what you ask them to do?

CM: It was huge for them to get in shape and stronger. Looking at their bodies, they've all done that. We don't give them that eight, nine seconds of rest in that huddle. They've got to get going and be in shape and be able to go fast and line up and play. They've all responded to that, and I'm excited.

At wide receiver, do you lean on a guy like Greg [Mathews] with some experience, or are you really looking heavily to the young guys?

CM: I look at the guys that played. Greg played last year, [Junior] Hemmingway played a little bit last year, Toney [Clemons] played. Right now, those are the guys with the experience coming in, but we've got a couple guys like [Zion] Babb and [LaTerryal] Savoy and a couple of young kids that we feel real good about that came on in the spring at the end. That's again going to be a position where it's not settled at all, but we know who are the experienced guys, who did what in the spring, and we're going to throw the young kids in there really early and let it all work itself out.

How did [Darryl] Stonum look coming out the spring?

CM: I was excited about him. Coming in in January really benefited him a great deal. His body's changed. He's a fast guy that can catch the ball, so I'm hoping he's one of the guys that comes along. But he's been here. He was here in the spring, so he's got a big head-start on the assignment part of it all. Now he's not like a chicken with his head cut off, he can kind of relax and just play, not think so much.

Rich [Rodriguez] mentioned how he just wanted to move on from everything at West Virginia, to not have it as a distraction. What have you seen from him the last few weeks, since the settlement?

CM: I'm sure it is for him. I can get into that and talk 30 minutes now, all the crazy stuff. But the best part of Rich, even when it was all going on, every day he was there, taking care of business every day. It never (affected) these kids, so now that it's gone, it's hard to answer that. I know he's glad it's behind him, but we didn't see him a whole lot different because he was still leading us like he always has.

Were you disappointed in the way things turned out for him, or are you glad it's over?

CM: The main thing was we stayed focused on what we had to do here every day. Yeah, I think it was unfair. I don't mind saying that. But it's over with and we've got to move forward now. That's the direction we're going.

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