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 23rd, 2011 at 9:31 PM ^

His family would only be footing a semester's worth of out-of-state tuition, since he'd be on scholarship starting in Jan 2012.  It's still a lot, but if you consider that money over 4-5 years of school, it's not so bad.


June 23rd, 2011 at 10:02 PM ^

Plus, for the same reason I respect walk-ons who turn down lesser schools, if this kid chooses to grey shirt at UM, I will respect him all the more.  I love to see kids who are dead set on being a Wolverine.  Those type of players almost always help with team unity and effort.

If this article is accurate, it wouldn't be surprising to see him get some better offers and/or ratinds after his senior year.

Promote RichRod

June 23rd, 2011 at 11:44 PM ^

Yes, I understand we are being "upfront" about the situation.  Yes, I understand that it is "just like a preferred walk-on status."

Q: Why aren't we calling it a preferred walk-on position, then?  It's no different, right?  Why sell it as a different thing, then?  It seems to imply a guarantee that doesn't exist.

I don't like this one bit.


June 24th, 2011 at 12:09 AM ^

Well it is different because a walk-on is not being offered a scholarship with no promise of ever receiving one. A greyshirt kid is, but the scholarship is being deferred to a semester later then everyone else in the class coming in.

Now is there a guarantee the staff will honour this? Technically no, and my understanding is he wouldn't have to sign an NLI because he'd either walkon in 2012 or be classed as a 2013 early enrollee.

If the staff were to renege on a greyshirt then I think you would see this board explode because then we are the SEC but since we've never seen these coaches do this, how about we let things play out before judging them on it. Clark hasn't even committed, we're getting way ahead of ourselves on this. But a greyshirt =/= a preferred walk-on.


June 24th, 2011 at 3:35 AM ^

How do you know that his greyshirt offer doesn't include a guaranteed scholarship in the 2013 class? It seemed like TVH was talking in generalities about how a greyshirt typically works but it doesn't seem like we know exactly how Hoke will use them and what he's promising.  Also, how do you know that the staff doesn't have intimate knowledge that there will legitimately be 25-26 spots open at the end of the year (if that is in fact the number we take) without SEC-like medical redshirts and forced attrition (which does not include not giving 5th years to redshirt seniors in my book)? I could be wrong but I don't think Hoke has previously shown that he's the kind of coach to screw kids over like this and until he does or unless you have some insider info you're not sharing, your uneasiness and saying the staff are already walking a fine line are a bit unwarranted. 

Promote RichRod

June 24th, 2011 at 9:07 AM ^

or distrust, make any assumptions or anything - this is a simple numbers game and the staff is playing with fire.

How do I know there aren't 25-26 open already?  Um, counting?  Even if we don't renew 5th years (which I'm generally OK with) for everyone not currently on the 2 deep (probably not the best strategy in some positions, e.g. DBs, but go with me here), we would still need something like 3-4 kids to disappear off the current roster to fit our 25-26 or whatever.  These spots do NOT currently exist.  They might, but what if they don't?

What will Hoke do if Cox blows up and becomes a must-have player?  What if TRob becomes an electric punt returner?  What if Floyd is our best option at DB for his senior year?  What if Mealer makes a full recovery and beats some people out on the OL?  What if everyone decides they love the staff and no one transfers?  What if we actually get some luck and no one suffers a career-ending injury?

If we take 25-26 we are absolutely counting on a few of these things not happening.  Add in greyshirts and even more people have to leave for it not to become an empty promise.  Suppose the roster stays intact - we are then forced to cut useful and experienced 5th years or become the SEC by not honoring scholarships or cutting current players.  I'd much prefer to be safe and possibly end up a few under the 85 limit if we get bad luck than to flirt with the cap like this.  I'd rather not go down that path, but it seems we have taken the first 2 steps down this path.

I'll add a disclaimer that Hoke still hasn't done anything outwardly bad on this front yet and we need to wait and see, but it won't matter.  As long as I'm not parroting TRUST THE COACHES (with no evidence whatsoever) this viewpoint will be shouted down.  All I can say is - winning isn't everything.  I hope we keep our integrity


June 24th, 2011 at 10:54 AM ^

But they are by and large "what-if" scenarios. From what I understand, there is nothing firm about the class size hitting 26. Anything Hoke has said has been couched as a vague target. That the staff is offering a greyshirt indicates to me they are aware of the numbers and the necessity to manage the offers out there.

All the hand wringing over whether or not we have spaces open is for naught. Either Hoke and Co have multiple scenarios mapped out and strategies to accommodate different scenarios or they don't. I don't expect to have anywhere near the level of information that Hoke does to make the call. We have no clue about the personal issues any number of players might currently be dealing with, nor any real history of how these things play out because a lot of the decisions are private matters. We won't know until it happens and either Hoke looks good or he falls on his face. My hope is for the former, and I'll be following it to see how it plays out. I not advocating blind trust in the coach, but I feel at least deserves the benefit of proving that he knows what he is doing.


June 24th, 2011 at 12:20 PM ^

Right. So your counting does not show you know anything about the staff's intimate knowledge of the situation, which is what I asked. It just shows that you just know how to, um, count. You can come up with all the "what-if" scenarios you want but at the end of the day, the staff is in the best position to know how many scholarships are or in all likelihood will be available. True they could go all SEC on us, it will surely be blasted all over the media and no one will be happy. But my point is there is no evidence to indicate they'll do that. I don't think anything I said previously was shouting down your viewpoint, all I said was that as it stands right now, that viewpoint is unwarranted...but like most RR apologists, you're just a bit too sensitive.

And how exactly does the "greyshirt" situation with Clark make it so that even more people have to leave for it not to become an empty promise? The staff has been very upfront with him , he's essentially walking-on in 2012 and will become part of the 2013 class. What the problem again?

Promote RichRod

June 24th, 2011 at 1:52 PM ^

but my point was that intimate knowledge of the situation is not needed to assess whether Hoke is taking a gamble here - he is.  Even if he's "pretty sure" X will be transferring or Y won't get a 5th year, it hasn't happened yet and things can change.  If any number of these what-if scenarios happen (and none of them are even remotely farfetched, like players becoming good or players not transferring), then Hoke will be left with the following options:

- yank scholarships from committed offerees that haven't signed yet (assuming the "oh shit we have too many players" moment occurs before NSD)

- don't renew 5th years for valuable players on the 2 deep (not morally offensive but is a bad strategy)

- do his best Saban impersonation and cut kids, force attrition, medical redshirts etc.

I don't want to be left with these options.  Moreover, being in this situation is totally avoidable.  Just sign kids up to the 85 limit and stop.  You know, like the rules suggest?  If one drops off before NSD, sign another to bring it back to 85.  If one drops after NSD, tough.  Live with 84 and make it up in the next class.

No oversigning and hoping for attrition.  No greyshirts.


June 24th, 2011 at 3:06 PM ^

Nope, I didn't miss your point but thanks for making my point for me. Not renewing 5th years is not, as you said, morally offensive. But, if you find that it's a bad strategy, well everyone is entitled to their subjective opinion. I personally don't think it's a bad strategy especially for a new coach needing to develop long-term players that fit his system. Agree to disagree on if the strategy is good or bad.  

All the rest of your "what-ifs" regarding yanking scholarships, forcing attrition and sending kids to St. Saban's Memorial haven't happened yet and may not happen, and only the staff is in the position to know if that's their plan. If they do these things, you can bet there will be a backlash. But, Hoke hasn't done this in the past and there's no reason to think he'll do it in the future. Point made.

And you still haven't said why you think the Clark "greyshirt" situation (or that situation for any recruit, the way Hoke is doing it) is morally reprehensible, will cause others to leave if its not an empty promise and deserves your "No greyshirts" command. Again Clark is just being treated as a walkon for 2012 and will join the 2013 class. Maybe you just don't like the term "greyshirt" because of the way it is used by the SEC, which isn't what Hoke is doing. How about we call it a "rainbowshirt" to set your mind at ease, happy? 


June 24th, 2011 at 8:01 AM ^

There is no guarantee that a greyshirt offeree would get a scholarship next year. There also is no guarantee that kids who sign LOIs will have scholarships the following year. But there are some generally accepted practices. If Hoke yanked Ricardo Miller's scholarship this year, there would be outrage and the same would likely be true if he reneged on an explicit promise to a greyshirt candidate.


June 24th, 2011 at 1:06 AM ^

I guess i just felt uneasy because i didnt exactly know what gray shirting was, but it sounds like if he wants to work to be a Wolverine, he definitely can be....Sounds like a very intriging prospect.


June 24th, 2011 at 5:49 AM ^

Given the number of offers Hoke & co. have sent out, and the class size he said he wants this year (25-26) and now offering greyshirts....  I get the impression that Hoke & Mattison weren't all that impressed with the level of talent currently on the roster.

And by "not impressed" I mean "OMG there's no talent on this team".





June 24th, 2011 at 8:04 AM ^

I feel like this is a huge positive the coaches are sending to Wilson regarding how much they want him.  They are saying, without saying, "we are holding the safety spot for you and only you."


June 24th, 2011 at 10:55 AM ^

This isnt shady at all, totally different situation from when you pull the rug out from a kid and just say hey you got a scholarship and whoops Tacopants younger brother who is a DB just committed so now we dont have room for you and you can be on the team but you need to pay your own way. 


June 24th, 2011 at 11:02 AM ^

I know its way down the discussion but I want to clear up a what a grey shirt is and the options this kid has. I work in the field so I have experience. 

The instituiton can provide aid for the student for his summer classes, he will take 6 hours or whatever the equivalent is at Michigan due to it being a quater school. His financial aide agreement signed prior to summer will become void in the the Fall and he will actually beome a "prospective student-athlete" meaning the coaches can not freely contact him.  Much of the contact during this time is intiated by the student.

He can take classes in the Fall as long as he does not become fulltime (12hours) because  this would start his clock. (5 years to play 4).  He can take those classes at Michiagn, Eastern or wherever but its on his bill. 

Some students choose to go home and train, so take classes at that instution or take community college classes because it is cheaper, again as long as they are not full time.

Entering the Spring semester the student-athlete signs a new financial aide aggreement. Often he takes the place of a scholarship Senior who graduated at the end of the Fall term, opening up a scholarship.