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A college sports blog from The Oakland Press, dedicated to covering Michigan and Michigan State athletics as well as former Oakland County athletes at other schools.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More disappearances into the Bearcat-muda Triangle

There's no mistaking the weird little love-hate triangle between the football programs at Michigan State, Cincinnati and Central Michigan.

It started with Mark Dantonio leaving Cincy to coach at MSU. Spurned by MSU in its coaching search, Brian Kelly went from CMU to replace Dantonio at Cincinnati. When Kelly left Cincy for Notre Dame before the Bearcats' bowl game this year, the Cincinnati hierarchy again robbed CMU, grabbing Butch Jones as Kelly's replacement. CMU, in turn, took Dan Enos — who'd been a Dantonio assistant at Cincy, then MSU — as its new head coach.

And it hasn't stopped with just coaches.

First there was the whole tiff about Trevor Anderson's transfer from Cincy to MSU, to follow Dantonio, when Kelly showed his stubborn side, to get even with MSU.

Now defensive end Jibreel Black, a Cincinnati native, has started the triangle spinning again. He initially committed to his hometown Bearcats, then re-opened his recruitment when Kelly left to coach in South Bend. Black took a recruiting visit to MSU two weekends ago, appeared to recommit to UC, then took a visit to Ann Arbor this past weekend, giving a verbal to the Wolverines after the weekend. Since Black had initially given a verbal to Indiana, then switched to Cincinnati, and now U-M, it's fair to say it's probably not a done deal until he actually inks a National Letter of Intent on Feb. 3.

While the numbers for U-M's class went up with the addition of the three-star recruit, CMU's went down over the weekend, when one of its key commits — Montague QB Cody Kater — decided to renege on his earlier statements that he'd stick with CMU. Instead, he chose to follow Jones to Cincinnati, giving the Bearcats a verbal commitment on Sunday.

He'll hardly be the lone Michigander on the Bearcats' roster next year. After leaving CMU, Kelly kept the pipelines open to Southeast Michigan (much to the chagrin of Cincinnati-area prep coaches), nabbing players like Marine City QB Brendon Kay by continuing to work the contacts he'd made over the years as he built Grand Valley and then Central.

Last year's roster had a dozen players from Michigan on it, including a slew from suburban Detroit. Safety Aaron Webster (Birmingham Groves) was the lone returning starter on defense to start the historic season, while Southfield-Lathrup grad Chris Jurek was the starting center. A year earlier, John Goebel (Milford/Birmingham Brother Rice) led the Bearcats in rushing TDs. It's almost a given that Jones will continue to pillage Michigan to supplement to the fertile recruiting ground he now finds himself in.

Outside the drama, Michigan State also added to its strong recruiting class, nabbing three-star DT Anthony White from Fort Scott, Kan., while Western Michigan continued to add Florida players, with West Palm Beach safety Johnnie Simon.

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