Forcier changes mind, won’t enroll at Miami

University of Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier looks for his receiver during the second half of their NCAA football game against Ohio State in Ann Arbor, Michigan Michigan November 21, 2009. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

Former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier has changed his mind and will not enroll at the University of Miami according to

A person familiar with his decision told The Associated Press on Friday that the former Michigan quarterback broke off contact with the Hurricanes about six weeks ago because undisclosed personal matters were overshadowing football. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Forcier has not publicly revealed the decision. first reported Forcier would not attend Miami. A message left for Forcier’s father by the AP was not immediately returned Friday.

Miami added another transfer quarterback earlier this spring, when South Florida native Ryan Williams left Memphis after one season to join the Hurricanes. Returning quarterbacks Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris will vie for Miami’s starting job for 2011 in training camp, and Williams would have to sit out until 2012 unless the NCAA grants a waiver saying otherwise.

As points out, the last 10 or so months of Forcier’s collegiate career has been rocky. He lost the full-time starting quarterback job to Denard Robinson last year and despite his insistence that he would remain a Wolverine throughout his career, he announced his decision to transfer shortly after being ruled academically ineligible for Michigan’s trip to the Gator Bowl.

After considering Kansas State, Washington, Arizona and Montana, he signed an aid agreement with the Hurricanes in February. But after backing out with Miami, his playing status remains in flux.

Forcier has always reminded me of Jeff Garcia thanks to his ability to buy himself more time by moving around in the pocket and finding open receivers. He doesn’t have out-of-this world natural talent but given the right situation, I think he could succeed as a full-time starter somewhere. Of course, in order for that to happen he has to settle on a school and make sure he stays academically eligible.

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Defense was optional, but Michigan/Illinois sure was fun

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Tate Forcier #5 of the Michigan Wolverines greets running back Brandon Minor #4 during warmups for the game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won 45-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

I’m a huge fan of tough, defensive football. Not sloppy, crazy turnovers which make the defense look better football, but simply teams that make plays on the defensive side of the ball.

That being said, I don’t know if many games this season will match the excitement and entertainment value that Illinois and Michigan provided today. Michigan won 67-65 in overtime in a game that featured over 1,200 yards of total offense. It was the highest scoring game of the season between two Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

It featured everything that we have come to expect from a Michigan game. No defense. Explosive offensive plays. Long third down conversions. An injury to Denard Robinson. A great play from Tate Forcier. A brutal interception from Tate Forcier. A brutal fumble by Tate Forcier. A redemption TD drive by Tate Forcier. An absolutely atrocious defensive breakdown in overtime. A tip-drill touchdown on a crucial play in overtime. It really was a treat.

It’s a tough loss for Illinois which was in the middle of a huge turnaround year (it still is, with a chance to turn three wins into eight), but it’s not going to change anything the Illini do going forward. For Michigan, however, this could get interesting.

I have no clue what the Michigan administration is going to do with Rich Rodriguez, but I have to imagine that a bowl berth is enough of an improvement for him to see another year. At least that’s what I hear from my Michigan-fan friends.

This certainly cements the fact that Rodriguez needs to fire Greg Robinson in the offseason, if not yesterday. I understand Michigan’s defense is young, and there have been key injuries all around. But this is ridiculous. Purdue is pitiful, and it will probably score 30-plus against the Wolverines. I can’t imagine any scenario short of a Big Ten rule that states Michigan opponents must play offense with seven players that will see Wisconsin and Ohio State not score 40.

Although keeping Robinson around for a year would make for good viewing for the rest of us.

Denard Robinson for Heisman? Not yet, but he’s off an running

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines carries the ball on a 13 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Denard Robinson just made Michigan fans’ wildest dreams come true. Well, not quite, but he’s definitely going to have the maize and blue clad minions smiling from ear to ear tonight.

Robinson torched the Connecticut defense today for 198 yards on 29 carries, and was 19-for-22 for 188 yards through the air in Michigan’s 30-10 victory. That second number is huge, because anyone that watched Robinson throw a football in game action last year might faint at the sight of that completion percentage.

When he arrived on the scene in Ann Arbor a year ago, Robinson excited Michigan fans with his elite speed. His inability to produce in the passing game, however, made him more of a situational player while his classmate, Tate Forcier, handled the bulk of the load. Now that Forcier has fallen out of favor with Rich Rodriguez (true freshman Devin Gardner entered the game for a few plays after Robinson went out with a minor injury in the third quarter), Robinson seems to have a firm grasp on the starting quarterback position in Ann Arbor. His performance today will do nothing but strengthen that.

So is Robinson a true Heisman Trophy contender? It’s way too early to say — and remember, Michigan started out on fire last year, and many were asking the same question about Forcier. But he’s definitely off to a good start, and I’d expect him to be on most Heisman watch lists on Monday. If he helps lead Michigan back to prominence, don’t be surprised to see him in New York in December.

2010 Big Ten College Football Preview: Ohio State back on top

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 26: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes hands off to running back Brandon Saine #3 of the Buckeyes during a game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Ohio Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Here’s a quick and dirty look at how I see things playing out in the Big Eleven this season:

#1 Ohio State
Some believe the Buckeyes’ offense might be close to catching up to their defense in terms of dominance, which is saying something with the way OSU’s D played a year ago. The Buckeyes return all three leading rushers from 2009 in Brandon Saine, Dan Herron and quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who some believe has become a more committed teammate over the offseason. The key to OSU becoming a national title threat is Pryor, or more specifically, whether or not he’ll make opponents respect his passing game. The good thing for him and the Buckeyes on a whole is that they return four starters to a veteran offensive line that will open up plenty of holes for a deep and talented group of running backs. Defensively, OSU was a top five unit last season and could be once again this year assuming they can generate a pass-rush and the safeties can hold up in coverage. Cameron Heyward is one of the nation’s best defensive ends and Ross Homan is a playmaker at the outside linebacker spot. The secondary isn’t flashy, but cornerbacks Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence are solid. From a schedule standpoint, if they can beat Miami in Columbus in the second week of the season, they should be 6-0 heading into Madison on October 16. From there, they’ll be tested by Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa, but this is your clear favorite to win the Big Ten.

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Should Ohio State bench Terrelle Pryor?

Gerardo Orlando of Cleveland Scores wonders whether or not Ohio State should bench highly touted sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

As an Ohio State fan, it’s hard to imagine watching Pryor play quarterback for two more seasons. The Buckeyes are loaded on defense, and they have a solid offense as well, even with a mediocre offensive line. All they need right now to compete is a quarterback who can hit open receivers and avoid turnovers. They don’t need a Vince Young or even a Troy Smith. Put Craig Krenzel on this team and the Buckeyes are competing for a national championship. Instead, we have the Terrelle Pryor train wreck, and an excellent defense is being wasted.

Pryor chose Ohio State because he wanted a program that could help him develop as a future NFL quarterback. That seems like a pipe dream now. The kid needs to focus on just being a competent college quarterback.

What should Tressel do? Would sitting Pryor help? Tressel needs to consider this if Pryor continues to turn over the football. He owes it to the other players on the team.

In the meantime, short of benching Pryor, Tressel needs to rethink what he’s trying to do on offense (the issue of Tressel calling the plays will be addressed another time). We can see he’s already tried to incorporate the option more into the offense, but we’re seeing that Pryor’s instincts aren’t much better there. Perhaps with practice he’ll get better, as the option at least plays to his running ability. Tressel should toss aside a good chunk of the playbook and go to a much simpler offense. Focus on running the football, the option, and other Wildcat-type plays, and have Pryor make much simpler throws that play off the running game. Dig up old tape from Oklahoma and Nebraska from the 1970’s, or even most of the Woody Hayes years. Keep it simple until the kid shows he can handle more.

Buckeye fans often get frustrated with Tressel’s conservative play-calling, but opening up the offense is not the solution here. He has to pull things back and start over. And, if Pryor can’t cut it in a simpler offense, then Tressel will have to make a change.

Well said. I could get into all of the things Pryor is currently struggling with, but the article does a nice job going into detail about the sophomore quarterback’s issues with arm strength, accuracy, mechanics, pocket presence, decision-making and leadership.

I find it interesting that Pryor was between Ohio State and Michigan two years ago and he might have been a better fit for Rich Rodriguez’s offense than Tressel’s. Not that Pryor has run the option well at OSU, but at least Rich Rod could have exploited Pryor’s running abilities.

That said, hindsight is always 20/20. If Pryor isn’t cut out to be a collegiate quarterback, then Ann Arbor wasn’t going to solve his issues.

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