A new era is upon us. While that statement could certainly be made in reference to Michigan’s recruiting class, it instead highlights the state of this very publication.
GoBlueWolverine was born in the late nineties as site for passionate Michigan fans by passionate Michigan fans. In other words it was a Michigan blog before the word blog existed. Then only a few years after it came to life, GoBlueWolverine went dormant. Tom Beaver, the aggregator of recruiting information for the site, left to be a part of a joint venture between a longtime Michigan magazine and a new network called rivals.com. When that initial incarnation of rivals died out, the visionary that started it -- Jim Heckman -- went back to the drawing board. He came back with better, more sustainable, and profitable model that he eventually dubbed Scout.com.
Tom Beaver took a leap of faith with Heckman and started from nothing a Michigan site on another fledgling network. I, then an engineering student at Michigan, took a leap of faith with them both by putting my pursuit of that vocation to the side in order to explore whether one’s passion really could become a profession. GoBlueWolverine on Scout.com was born.
That was 12 years ago. In that time we’ve grown into one of the largest sites on the network, and quite possibly the largest site to originate on the network. Also in that span of time we’ve seen Heckman sell the network to Fox for a lucrative sum, only to buy it back late last year.
Heckman’s return is what has spawned this new era. Being a part of large bureaucracy often has as its consequence a lack of expediency and specialization when it comes to making changes. So while the Fox brand had its benefits (many of which we will still enjoy as Fox’s partner as opposed to its subsidiary), there were limitations placed on how quickly the network could advance.
Those days are gone. Jim Heckman’s roots are our roots. Jim Heckman’s roots are your roots. He’s a passionate sports fan that gets what it means to connect with likeminded (and opposite-minded) fans about their favorite sports teams. He also gets the insatiable appetite for inside, in-depth, accurate information about those teams at the drop of a hat. It’s because of that understanding that Scout.com is about to take a giant leap into the future.
You may have previously noticed a few subtle changes on GoBlueWolverine.com, with more stories presented on the front page and improved mobile access. The changes instituted today are even more dramatic with both a better look and improved functionality. And even this is but a precursor to a major overhaul that will make Scout.com the most user-friendly and informative college recruiting network in existence.
As many of you saw in our recruiting yearbook, major changes abound on the print side too. Gone are the ten monthly issues comprised of content that could be consumed in an hour. In their place is a new model that is both more robust and esthetically pleasing. Now we’ll deliver more in three much bigger issues per year than we previously did in ten. They’ll come in the form of The Recruiting yearbook, The Football Preview, and The Basketball Preview/Recruiting Yearbook. Simply put, we’re taking the publication to the next level.
Helping make that happen will be a team that is similarly bigger and better than ever. Now halfway through my first year running the show at GoBlueWolverine as the Managing Editor, I can see the assets of each crew member shining through. Tom Beaver is still around helping maintain the messageboard community and compiling recruiting lists, beat reporters Kyle Bogenschutz and Josh Newkirk are on top of anything notable with the Michigan football, basketball, and recruiting…, and site contributors Andre Barthwell, Eric Rutter, and Jacob Nye are around to augment our efforts so we never miss a thing.
If that’s not enough, the best group of recruiting analysts assembled on any network are employed by Scout.com. Midwest Regional Manager Allen Trieu is one of those analysts, and you’ll hear him regularly on GoBlueWolverine.com and in every issue of GoBlueWolverine the Magazine.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride because the best is yet to come!