Tag:Demetrius Hart
Posted on: January 3, 2011 10:56 am

Dee Hart decommits as sharks circle Rodriguez

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The writing may not be on the wall yet for Rich Rodriguez, but by this point, the guy on the ladder with the black paintbrush in his hands may as well get to work whether Dave Brandon has told him to or not.

An utterly miserable weekend for the Wolverine head coach wrapped up yesterday with the news that the jewel of Rodriguez's 2011 recruiting class, running back Demetrius Hart, had decided to back out of his commitment to Michigan. (Though Hart maybe hasn't made it officially official yet, it's hardly any kind of a secret at this stage.) Multiple credible reports state that Hart will be pledging to Alabama instead at this week's U.S. Army All-American game.

Keep in mind that Hart isn't just the highest-ranked prospect in this year's Wolverine; he's a top-100 recruit to mutliple recruiting services (though Maxpreps' Tom Lemming is less enthused , and ranks Hart as just the No. 11 running back, behind another Michigan commit, Justice Hayes), a consensus four-star recruit, and the potential answer at a position where the Wolverines received adequate-at-best production this season. In other words, he might also have been the best, most important recruit of Rodriguez's entire tenure ... and now he's gone. (Dee-committed, we might say.)

But it wouldn't be accurate to say Hart's departure is the final nail in the coffin. More likely, it's the latest, maybe clearest sign we've gotten that that nail has already been driven in. Yesterday we saw a coach who led his team onto the field for a bowl game the night before leave for another program the very next day; if we see the same tonight and tomorrow with Jim Harbaugh, though, it won't come as nearly as much of a shock as it did with Randy Edsall.

Posted on: December 23, 2010 3:35 pm

Nothing to see in Tide bowl practice arrangement

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A handful of reports this week have breathlessly claimed that Alabama's arrangement to practice for the Capital One Bowl at Orlando's Dr. Phillips high school -- and make a handful of improvements to the facilities while there -- was executed with the Tide's recruiting efforts in mind, specifically as regards Dr. Phillips' two 2011 top-100 players, safety Hasean Clinton-Dix and running back Demetrius Hart.

The only problem with those reports? There's just nothing to them, as this story from the Tuscaloosa News explains . How? Let us count the ways:

1. Alabama's far from the first SEC school to practice at Dr. Phillips. LSU used the facilities just last season, and a Cap One spokesman says that the Dr. Phillips field "the field the SEC traditionally gets."

2. The bowl paid for the "improvements." According to officials both at the school and with the bowl, the only upgrade worth reporting was a reseeding and "top dressing of the field to fill any holes." Even that was paid for by the bowl committee, leaving the only "improvement" made by Alabama a rented set of temporary showers which will be removed after the bowl.

3. The "improvements" happen every year. Even if you believe the work on the field ("basically putting sand and peat down on certain areas of the field," according to a bowl spokesman) is a big deal for Alabama, it "isn't too much different than [what's done] any other year," according to the bowl.

4. 'Bama doesn't have that much to gain. Though things are always fluid in the world of recruiting, Clinton-Dix has been committed to the Tide and Hart to Michigan for months. Though rumors have persisted Hart might be interested in leaving the Wolverine fold, at this stage it seems unlikely unless Rich Rodriguez is replaced as head coach, and even then it's debatable whether he would choose Alabama as his new destination or even if the Tide would make room in a crowded class for him. Doesn't spending thousands of dollars to earn the respect of one recruit who's already on his way to Tuscaloosa and another who's a longshot no matter what the Tide seem awfully ... inefficient , for lack of a better term?

Put it all together, and there's just nothing to see here, unless you're the sort who squints really, really hard.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com