Should Brady Hoke still get a pass as he tries to undo the damage Rich Rodriguez did to the Michigan program? Or should he be help accountable for the mess we’re still seeing in Ann Arbor?
Michigan fans are losing patience, though Big Ten fans are also getting frustrated. Sure, as an Ohio State fan, it’s always fun to watch the Buckeyes stomp Michigan, and that has become a regular occurrence in the past 15 years. But the strength of the conference is seriously compromised when Michigan consistently plays like Purdue. Beating Michigan becomes an afterthought as opposed to a quality win that impresses around the country.
Jason Whitlock is a friend of Hoke’s, and he believes that Hoke will ultimately be successful at Michigan, but he has some harsh words for what’s going on now with the programs.
Brady Hoke, lost in the riches of Michigan, has momentarily lost who he is.
Hoke walked on at Ball State. No one wanted him. He turned himself into a starting linebacker on the 1978 Ball State team that finished 10-1. He was the captain of the 1980 squad.
As coach at Ball State, he didn’t have an office. The school barely supported the football program. He took a bunch of kids few programs wanted, won a dozen games, and produced a crop of players that included three NFL offensive linemen, an NFL tight end, an NFL quarterback, and a receiver who would’ve played in the league if not for a neck injury. At San Diego State, he did the exact same thing, and the Aztecs didn’t even have their own stadium.
Brady Hoke is an underdog. He has an attitude, a chip. He’s self-made. He always has something to prove. It’s one of the reasons he connects with Tom Brady, a kid Hoke recruited to Michigan, a QB who plays with a massive chip in the NFL.
For three straight years, Hoke has been a recruiting star, landing high-profile recruits from all across the country, swiping talent from Ohio State and other blue-chip programs. Hoke might get the No. 1 class in 2014.
He’s five-star struck. On the recruiting trail, he has sacrificed character, grit and maturity for ratings stars. His top recruit in 2013, freshman running back Derrick Green, reported to camp 20 pounds overweight. Green is soft. On Saturday, the 245-pounder dove at the ankles of a blitzing linebacker and whiffed. Green barely plays.
He goes on to rip other Michigan recruits from the Hoke era along with stars on the team like Taylor Lewan who he accuses of “coasting.” I have no idea whether Whitlock is right here. He may be going too easy on his friend and taking out his frustrations on the players. Would Urban Meyer be having these problems?
Bob Wojnowski is harsher when evaluating Hoke, blaming the problems at Michigan on “poor coaching.”
Hoke came to town with some bluster and bravado, refusing to call “Ohio State” by its proper name bu instead just saying “Ohio.” Perhaps he should focus more on fundamentals as opposed to making waves at press conferences. In the end, the losses with drown out everything else.