Today marks the 110th anniversary of Willie Heston’s final game at Michigan. Heston was Michigan’s first superstar, a two-time All-American, who scored (somewhere around) 72 touchdowns. From 1901 to 1904, Heston’s teams went 43-0-1 and are credited with four national titles.
The man who introduced Yost to the crowd in attendance and the radio audience was none other than the great Heston. Here are two clips of the great Willie and in the first we have a surprise. Before offering up his tribute to his old coach, Heston acknowledges that current student athlete and national icon Tom Harmon in the audience. Old 98 shares the mic & even has a little back and forth with Heston that is all in all pretty priceless.
The second clip has Heston delivering his testimonial to Yost. Enjoy:
As an aside, while I’m sure you’ll be hard pressed to find another audio clip of the Harmon and Heston together but they did appear elsewhere…namely on this campaign pin for Heston [original 2008 post]. This is probably a decent representation of what each man looked like back in 1940:
Don’t ask me to point out who’s who (maybe Brian can whip out a UFR), but here’s footage from Willie’s final game played at Regents Field in Ann Arbor, a 22-12 victory over rival (and Yost’s nemesis) Amos Alonzo Stagg and Chicago. The footage was taken by Thomas Edison’s firm (note the “gridiron” – the lines painted on the field like a grid):
They talked quite a bit about the legacy and potential reinstatement of the Fab 5. Jalen clearly thinks the F4 banners need to be restored and feels a jersey or two should be retired. ESPN has an extensive documentary on the controversial quintet coming up on March 13 at 9am. You can preview some of the clips here HT to Jeff Papworth.
One historical nitpick: Jalen says a key piece in restoring the Fab Five back to Michigan will be restoring their Final 4 banners. He adds that the Fab 5 had were the team “that helped Michigan get to two of its three final appearances ever.”
Of course Michigan was also in the 1965 and 1976 NCAA finals, losing to UCLA and undefeated Indiana respectively.
The thing about Denard is that he’s highly likeable. He’s clearly humble, there’s a bit of an ‘aw shucks’ thing going on and that huge smile just tops it off. I think that extends outside the Michigan fan base too. As you do, I know quite a few State fans who really couldn’t stand Tate especially after the "I don’t get nervous" comment. I saw it differently of course, but I guess I understand.
There were several questions about his workload running the ball, both at Rich Rod and Denard. One interesting fact. He was of course a quarterback in high school but most schools recruited him as a receiver or cornerback but did you know Denard only rushed for 462 yards his senior year at Deerfield Beach (while throwing for 1809)? So he’s just seven yards away (read: 1 carry) from beating his rushing totals from his entire high school senior year.
P.S. They handled out an updated copy of the Michigan record book at the press conference today, haha, that’s never a bad thing.
RR called out "a handful of guys" that aren’t in shape. Wouldn’t name names.
He didn’t name anyone beyond the "guys upfront" for being in exceptional shape.
Coach Rodriguez wouldn’t comment on the WVU allegations, deferred to his previous statements.
First practice in pads is Friday morning "full contact"; two-a-days start Sunday.
All the quarterbacks took the first snap together, haha. "All three guys are competing." Said Devin is in "great shape".
On the Woolfolk comments and Tate. "I’m glad our seniors are taking some ownership and leadership in this team." … "Tate knows he’s a lot of work to do to prove himself, not only on the field but off the field."
On whether Tate is doing the right things to prove himself. "I don’t watch summer practices." Weeee.
All the injured players in the from the spring are back 100% except Will Heiniger.
Michael Shaw and some other players are still in summer school, into next week.
On the type of O lineman they want, "We like big guys that can move."
Just had one bad snap today [where we’ve had problems in the past], "you can tell that’s coming from an experience guy."
On the WVU allegations: <cricket, cricket, cricket>
The seniors came up with the concept of having two permanent captains, with game captains during the season. They players voted on it. RR will announce to the team tonight. Media will find out tomorrow. They’ll two more captains for each game "if they’re worthy" and two "permanent" captains at the end of the season "if they’re worthy." Love it! Woolfolk?
105 guys on the roster.
RichRod didn’t give a speech or comment on the allegations/pressures/coaching situation to the players. That’s his responsibility; players need to focus on school and football.
He won’t know which freshman can contribute until after the first real scrimmage (a couple weeks from now).
Scholarships for walk-ons? Yes, coming up. It’s a sacred thing to RichRod as this was a big day for him while at WVU when Don Nehlen gave him the news. You know the story.
–> Best question <– Did he get a look at the punters today? Yes. "Will Hagerup will be what we thought. He’s got a very powerful leg, he’s a good athlete. If he progresses like we think he should be the guy against UConn."
True freshman will have a chance to compete at safety, cornerback (at least 2 deep).
Kelvin Grady is in really good shape. Tells RR he’s "a fulltime football player."
Talked about Facebook/Twitter. Prefers they don’t do it but understands. Dave Ablauf spoke to them about it. "Before you hit that send button, it’s there and it’s there for life." Won’t ban it. U-M has someone monitoring the players for RichRod.
Any time spent prepping for Seattle? No, just coaching.
Was RichRod aware that Tate wasn’t showing up as much for practice. RR didn’t really answer beyond saying he’s glad the seniors took that ownership. "Let’s not make too much [of this]."
On Brock Mealer: "I’m as proud of him as any player I’ve coached."
The interview starts off a bit slow but Rome gets into the LeBron questions and Izzo’s future near the end. Izzo normally has a raspy voice but he definitely sounded worn down – no wonder. Of note:
It might be a Dumb-and-Dumberesque chance, but when asked, Izzo did leave the door cracked for another look at the NBA.
Izzo dropped a U.P. reference in there, which has got to leave JR scratching his head, no?
Izzo revealed a big driver to his looks at the NBA is to challenge the notion that college coaches can’t make it in the NBA. His pulse picked up a bit during that discussion.
Rome didn’t go into the media/coverage subplot here and I was a little surprised he missed that. In 11 minutes he had room to hit that and usually JR is very in tune with what’s being discussed locally. I was hopeful Izzo would make mention of, “Those nerds on The Red Cedar.” No go.
Bill ‘Huge’ Simonson interviewed Coach Rod today on his Huge Show, aired throughout Michigan and on 1050AM WTKA in Ann Arbor. The show host mentioned the interview would be available on their website tonight. What’s the hold up? Here’s the full audio of the interview:
Simonson has been going off on Ann Arbor News columnist Jim Carty all day for his recent column where Carty suggested that Rodriguez should apologize to WVU and pay the $4M. He’s dedicated the entire show to this topic, repeatedly calling Carty and his columns “garbage”.
UPDATE 1/18: Jim Carty fires back at Huge on WTKA this morning, I’m looking for audio. Also Carty’s latest column reiterates his take that Rodriguez should apologize.
Here were a few of my notes from the Huge/RR interview as it happened:
[The papers were removed] “in the middle of the day.”
“I threw out some old game plans…Notes that I took…Some we ripped up, some we shredded”
“The innuendo was crazy”
“If there was any pertinent information it was left there.”
“Why would I try to hide anything? I would never do that.”
“I never said I would NEVER leave. It was never my intent to leave. I was right in the middle of remodeling my house.”
“I did not call a single Michigan recruit until after I resigned.”
“The facts are the facts. Let’s get it out there and let’s move on.”
Regarding the $4M buy-out. “some of things said by West Virginia are not true”.
“The level of vindictiveness has caught me a little off-guard.”
On whether he owes WVU an apology, as Carty suggested today, “No I don’t owe an apology.”
“I told the staff first [that he was resigning], then told the team.”
On the threats and the property damage “There were some things that happened after the Pitt game…after the resignation, someone ripped off the mailbox, some other threats that my family received…the persistence of it caught me a little surprised…the level it went to caught me off guard.”
Are you hurt, stunned or surprised by what’s going on? “All three..”
“I’m in a great place now.”
“I’m honored to be at Michigan.”
“[the people at the university] are committed to the program. I want to focus on the future.”
“it’s a National Enquirer type (story)”