TomVH: Kentucky Safety Jeremy Clark Offered a Greyshirt

Submitted by TomVH on June 23rd, 2011 at 6:32 PM

A name that has been popping up a lot since Michigan's camp is Kentucky safety Jeremy Clark. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound defensive back went up to Michigan to show the coaches what he has to offer. He now finds himself in a unique scenario, and I caught up with his coach today to talk about where Jeremy is at.

Jeremy Clark"He was offered a greyshirt today by the coaches, which could eventually lead to being a part of this class if the other safety they're in on doesn't commit," his coach said. The other safety he's talking about is likely Ohio defensive back Jarrod Wilson, who could be deciding as early as tomorrow. 

To those that aren't familiar, a greyshirt would mean Jeremy would commit to Michigan and pay his way through school, likely only for a semester. Once the semester is up he would then be able to earn a scholarship, the greyshirt preserves his eligibility while not counting towards the 2012 class numbers. 

"He's going to talk to his dad tonight and make a decision soon. He really fell in love with Michigan and the coaches," said his coach. "He said the facilities, the tradition, and the coaches just made him feel at home. He said it just felt right." Deciding to take the greyshirt from Michigan would show just how interested he is since he would be passing up full rides from North Carolina State, Akron, Ball State, CMU, Illinois, Ohio, and Toledo. 

"Jeremy is a great kid, kind of quiet, but very hard worker. As far as on the field, he's a head hunter. I coached a kid that went to Notre Dame as a safety, and I think Jeremy has potential to be better," said his coach. Jeremy is a big defensive back at 6-foot-4, but his coach reports he ran a 4.4 forty time at both Kentucky and Cincinnati's camp. "He'll come down hill and play hard nosed football, too. He's got size and speed, and he just grew three to four inches in the last year. He went from being undiscovered to blowing up." 

Clark's coach isn't sure when he'll decided but is supposed to speak with his father tonight to go over what exactly a greyshirt is. "I told Jeremy what [a greyshirt] is, so I'll tell his dad tonight," he said. "I don't know when he'll decide but I know he was as excited as I've ever seen him that Michigan still wanted him." It sounds like Clark could make his decision soon. The Michigan coaches explained to him that he can take the greyshirt and if Jarrod Wilson were to commit elsewhere then Clark would take that spot for the 2012 class.



June 24th, 2011 at 10:52 AM ^

> Who knows what could or could not happen.

It's only malarkey if it's some kind of scam. It's not. All questions can be answered. "What would happen if ... ?" The big question is what happens if there is an injury before he goes on scholarship. I don't know the answer to that, but the coaches and the University do.

There's nothing mysterious about it. He's being offered a 2013 scholarship, with early enrollment, on the condition that he participate as a preferred walk-on in 2012. 


June 24th, 2011 at 3:22 PM ^

Fine, then let's go ahead and get backups for other positions if everyone loves the greyshirt of this kid.


I really don't care what you think of my position, all I know if scholarship or redshirt = true offer. Walk on means you have a choice. Grey shirt is...?

Flame me Mr. Mod, but I don't like this surreptitious bringing a kid to school for 12k and a dream.  Cheap.


Lloyd's Boy

June 23rd, 2011 at 6:43 PM ^

I feel like there is a big difference between telling a kid that he has a spot, and then greyshirting him and greyshirting him upfront. I do agree that this is something that I would not like to see become commonplace, but if Jeremy is that excited to be a Wolverine and happy to take the spot then I'm all for it.


June 23rd, 2011 at 6:43 PM ^

I noted in a previous thread that Sam Webb (on Wednesday's recruiting roundup; podcasts here) was raving about Clark's performance at Michigan's camp on Tuesday.

Here is Clark's highlight video:


June 23rd, 2011 at 8:41 PM ^


Maybe not as coaches, but as recruiters and talent identifiers? They were on Standifer before the other powerhouses. They were on Odenigbo before the other powerhouses. They were in on Aziz Shittu before the powerhouses. I think they've given plenty of reason to trust their ability to identify talent.

Blue in Yarmouth

June 24th, 2011 at 8:32 AM ^

no offense but that still doesn't show us anything. You still can't say they are great at identifying talent when those players haven't even stepped on the field yet. How do we know any of these guys will pan out ( not that I think they won't)?

In all seriousness, I am excited about how things have gone since Hoke got here, but all this "trust the coaches" stuff is insane. They haven't coached one game and have yet to have one single recruit step on the field to prove they knew what they were doing when they offered. Let's just let these guys prove themselves before we annoint them the saviors of our beloved wolverines.

To be clear, I am excited but trying to maintain some objectivity.


June 23rd, 2011 at 6:47 PM ^

I felt sordid and unusal when I saw the term "Greyshirt" but I don't know that I have a problem with this. It's all up front and above board. We're not going to violate scholarship numbers, no one is being lied to, no one is being cut on account of this. The fact that all of this is being done in the light of day is a fairly clear sign this is being done correctly. Basicall he'd be agreeing to be a walk-on for a semester. There's nothing inherently illegal about that.

D.C. Dave

June 23rd, 2011 at 6:48 PM ^

I only have a problem with it if the kid arrives on campus and then finds out he's getting a greyshirt, a la the SEC schools, but if the Michigan coaches they have told Clark up front, it's fine. It's the player's choice to take it or not.

The threshold for judging this is honesty. If the coaches are honest about it and everyone is on board, it's just another technique to get a kid on the team who wants to be on the team.

I also like kids like Jeremy Clark, who are growing late and often have upside that is just now becoming visible. I hope it works out for him. He's a big safety, that's for sure.





June 23rd, 2011 at 6:54 PM ^

A greyshirt at UofM seems a bit different compared to other schools.  They let the kid know right from the start, just like a walk on.  

Don't forget that Morales was a greyshirt at Michigan also.  So this is nothing new there.


June 23rd, 2011 at 6:58 PM ^

Kudos to the staff for being honest with the kid.  It is nice to know where you stand even if you are option #2. 

With Wilson's decision imminent, I don't see Clark being in a hurry to pull the trigger before Wilson unless he really, really wants to be at Michigan -- which sounds like it may be the case, but he hasn't spoken to his parents yet and they hold the checkbook.


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:01 PM ^

It sounds like Jeremy changed a lot, from a physical point of view, recently. As a result, based on all of his old measurables, film, etc., people at the bigger programs didn't see him as a major conference player.

However, in light of the fact that he is showing up at UM camp with a whole new body, showing what he can do and turning heads, Michigan is reevaluating him.

It could be a great fit for all, in that Jeremy could get into a top flight football program, as opposed to the mid-levels that have offered him up to this point, and Michigan (by use of a one semester greyshirt) can get a player that we can use, who we probably do not have an immediate scholarship for.

He only has to pay for one semester (if Tom is correct), and we get a nice, up and comer kind of player. Given that his coach and his dad are in on the process, I would expect that he will be well counseled and make an informed decision. 

Depending on how Jeremy feels about his other options, this might work out well to everyone's benefit. He sure has those measurables now from the sound of it . . .


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:01 PM ^

the greyshirt is like a super preferred walk-on. A good preferred walk-on will earn his full scholarship in time but in this instance it is more or less a preferred walk-on with a guaranteed full scholarship with a short timeline attached to it. 


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:18 PM ^

TomVH says:

"To those that aren't familiar, a greyshirt would mean Jeremy would commit to Michigan and pay his way through school, likely only for a semester. Once the semester is up he would then BE ABLE TO EARN a scholarship . . . "

Being able to earn a scholarship is a far cry from a GUARANTEED full scholarship after a semester.

Does he get a scholarship if gets hurt? What if he's just not as good as the coaches had hoped? What if he is as good as the coaches had hoped, but they find better in the 2013 class?


June 24th, 2011 at 1:02 AM ^

Even for players on full scholarship its a year-to-year commitment, so there is never a guarantee beyond what you have now.

I too feel uneasy about this, but have faith in our coaching staff to handle this with integrity.  As long as its within the rules, and the family has full disclosure of what they are getting themselves into, I have no problem with it.


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:04 PM ^

There is aboslutely zero problem with offering a greyshirt here. There's no moral implications or anything dirty. Legitimate greyshirts exist. The problem is when a kid THINKS they're getting a full scholarship, enrolls, gets to campus, and then is informed, "Oh yeah, you're paying for everything."

I love that they're doing it this way, and maybe we can end up with both Clark and Wison in this class.


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:08 PM ^

to tell me how to feel about this.

But congratulations to this kid, the coaches do want him. I heard Sam talking about this kid, and apparently he tore it up at camp


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:12 PM ^

It's crazy how these southern kids came in and dominated the UM camp. According to Sam Webb, Jeremy Clark was someone who really stood out from the pack. Also it sounds like the top 2013 athlete was Shaquille Wiggins, from Georgia. That sort of worries me.


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:24 PM ^

Its unlikely it would be guaranteed to last only a semester.  It would just mean he is the first guy on scholarship when one freed up.  Its more a of a guarantee that he would be on scholarship at the end of his freshman year.


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:31 PM ^

Same deal with early-enrolees.  In scholarship terms an EE and a greyshirt are the same because the scholly starts in January.   

For some reason, I guess EE's / greyshirts dont affect the 85 limit.  Don't you only have to be under 85 by a certain date, by which departing seniors are off scholarhsip?


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:37 PM ^

Scholarships are counted on a calendar-year basis, so the seniors who exhaust their eligibility with the 2011 football season will no longer count toward the 85-scholarship limit on January 1, 2012. From

5. Gray shirt -  the NCAA rules state that college football players have 5 calendar years to complete 4 seasons of play.  When a recruit enters the program they can defer scholarship benefits until the following calendar year.  This restricts them from certain team activities, but in terms of the scholarship numbers they don't count until the following year.  Often times, coaches will ask borderline guys to take a gray shirt (if they can afford it) to free up a scholarship.  This usually applies to players who would be considered tweeners between being a walk-on player or a scholarship player. 


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:59 PM ^

This is confusing my little pea brain.  What if a player leaves the team next summer.  Would he be able to take that scholarship immediately, and never have to pay any tuition? 


June 23rd, 2011 at 7:59 PM ^

basically a 'preferred walk on' status?  I don't know much about this because, as far as I can remember, we have never done it.  I could be wrong.

Mr Miggle

June 23rd, 2011 at 9:21 PM ^

IIRC Slocum and before that one of the Sarantos brothers. We didn't use to get this much info, so it probably happened more than that  It's different from being a preferred walk-on because he is guaranteed a scholarship in 2013.

Mr Mackey

June 23rd, 2011 at 8:04 PM ^

I don't have a problem with it. It doesn't matter at all how I feel about it, but I just thought I'd put it out there. I'm actually very glad because this proves the coaches are being straightforward and honest with the recruits. Tell it like it is. 

If he wants to come, then he's proving how much he wants to be a Wolverine, and I love that. Congrats to Jeremy, and good luck!


June 23rd, 2011 at 9:47 PM ^

Well, I meant to ask are we (kinda) offering another safety because we aren't looking good with Wilson?  Or is he getting a greyshirt offer because we are confident with Wilson?  Or am I just reading into this too much because I am incredably bored with too much time on my hands?


June 23rd, 2011 at 10:12 PM ^

My read is this is a positive about Wilson. Clark isn't exactly going to commit elsewhere before Wilson announces so the staff could just hold off entirely until then. And if Wilson was going elsewhere, then why offer the greyshirt? They would just offer Clark a regular scholarship. This suggests they want Clark but don't have room for him in 2012 because of Wilson.

Crazy Canuck

June 23rd, 2011 at 9:24 PM ^

I hope Wilson decides sooner rather than later wether it's here or elsewhere. Just so he can decide whether or not he wants to accept a greyshirt status. Also, I hope his parents can afford it. I think somebody had a thread about the cost of tuition. I might be wrong, but I think it was around $37K for out of staters.