Akron notched another recruit, reports the ABJ's Gary Estwick. The recruit, Mickey Baker, is a middle linebacker. Strangely, I can't find a Mickey Baker in the databases of major recruiting Web sites. I do, however, see a one-star player named Mike Baker from Trotwood, Ohio.
Also, it turns out that Jared DeWalt's decision to play at Akron isn't final. He orally committed to the Zips. However, the standout offensive lineman from Brush High School will visit West Virginia, then make his final choice.
Happily for the Zips, Bowling Green quarterback Omar Jacobs will enter the 2006 NFL Draft. Jacobs, when healthy, is the biggest impact player in MAC history, in my humble opinion. Yes, that includes Byron Leftwich, Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Frye, Chad Pennington, Randy Moss, Jason Taylor, Dwight Smith, etc.
I think he will be an outstanding NFL quarterback. ESPN Insider ranks Jacobs behind Matt Leinart, Vince Young, Brady Quinn, and Michigan State's Drew Stanton. However, he is ahead of Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler, whom some expect to go early in the first round.
His departure makes the MAC East into a cake walk for the Zips.
- Bowling Green is very average without Jacobs.
- Miami will lose amazing receiver Martin Nance, pro prospect quarterback Josh Betts and stud cornerback Darrell Hunter. Hunter and Nance will play in the Senior Bowl. Betts will play in the Hula Bowl.
- Kent State is Kent State.
- Buffalo is Buffalo.
- Temple might be one of the worst teams in Division 1A when they enter the MAC next season. They scored only 107 points in 11 games last year. I sent away to NASA to calculate the other teams' combined score. What's nice is that they play home games at Lincoln Financial Field, which is where the Philadelphia Eagles play.
- Ohio will return its sophomore running back Kalvin McRae, but its passing game will continue to be non-existant. Ohio will also miss senior cornerback Dion Byrum.
Terry Pluto wrote a column about the Zips today. He makes a good point. This team should have a bigger following. That will improve, I think, once students get back to classes in a week.
St. V's beat Lancaster High School at Value City Arena yesterday. That is sort of ironic because one of Akron's 2006 recruits, Chris McKnight, plays for Lancaster. The senior forward finished the game with seven points and 10 rebounds. Other recruits include Mike Bardo, a 6-foot-9 center from Oak Hills, Ohio, and Darryl Roberts, a 5-11 point guard from Toledo.
Don't forget the Zips will basically have a fourth freshman next year because Jimmy Conyers will be eligible. He was a 2005 recruit from Baltimore, Md. Because of a transcript problem, the 6-5 shooting guard won't play this year. Buchtelite sports editor Mike Hixenbaugh keeps telling me that Conyers will be the team's star once he is able to suit up. Here is what coach Keith Dambrot has to say about him: "With his tremendous athleticism, Jimmy will be our most explosive perimeter player from the day he steps on campus. Offensively, his ability to get a good shot at any time definitely addresses a need for our team. On the defensive end, his potential is almost limitless."
Oh yeah, and assuming Jeremiah Wood feels like playing, he'll be on the roster, too.
Although the Zips will lose Darryl Peterson, Matt Futch and Rob Preston to graduation next season, the team will be extremely, extremely talented. Much moreso than this year.
Fear the Roo gear will be avaliable at the Zips Team Shop and online starting Wednesday, according to the athletic department's ad in the ABJ.
Also, go Bengals! I don't like them, but at least they aren't wearing urine yellow and black.
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