2009 Recruiting: Adrian Witty Comment Count

Brian February 24th, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Previously: S Vlad Emilien, S Thomas Gordon, and LB Mike Jones.

Deerfield Beach, Florida - 5'9" 175
adrian-witty-omg-shirtless Scout 2*, NR
Rivals 2*, NR
ESPN 40 (ie: unranked)
Others #25 in Broward County.
Other Suitors Kansas State, UCF, FIU
YMRMFSPA Uh… Denard Robinson?
Previously On
Nothing except a bunch of "hey, this guy is Denard Robinson's teammate!"
Notes Teammate of Denard Robinson

Adrian Witty, a teammate of Denard Robinson, is Denard Robinson's teammate. On this team, which they share, they play together. Also, Witty and Denard Robinson attended the same high school. At this high school, they played on a team which they shared and played together on: they were teammates.

That should be clear. Many, many folks regard Witty's offer as the heroin-laced carrot used to lure critical QB recruit Denard Robinson away from Urban Meyer's clutches and to Michigan's post-apocalyptic frozen wastes. But Witty does have legs and plays a position* and he is this year's most emphatically shirtless recruit. Therefore he will be Tim Tebow.

So let's consider the man. The internet is undecided as to his height, which is either 5'9" or 5'11" (or 6'1" according to Scout, but that's an outlier and can be disregarded), and his position, which is either cornerback or safety. For his part, Witty thinks corner:

''If I go up there and work the way I know I'm going to work, I'll be the starting cornerback at Michigan next fall,'' said Witty, who visited Kansas State, Michigan and FIU.

No offense to Witty, but if his prediction comes true while Boubacar Cissoko and Donovan Warren are still around you can find me on a ledge somewhere.

As to Witty's rating, there's one very good reason he's been virtually ignored by the scouting services: an ACL tear that happened in the state semifinal game of his junior year held him out of much of his senior year. That's not enough to explain his paucity of offers and low ranking—plenty of kids with similar injuries are higher rated and more hotly pursued, like say Vlad Emilien—but it does mitigate those red flags. Witty, supposedly still less than 100%, got back on the field halfway through his senior season and ended the year with 50 tackles and an interception. He also tacked on four catches for 143 yards and a touchdown.

Video from that senior year:

Before the injury there were a couple ridiculous (FAKE!) 40 times out there. Here's one:

The Class of 2009 also includes safety Adrian Witty (5-11, 185), who also put up some fast (4.4) numbers at combines in the off season.

And the second is even more delectably fake:

In the early moments of the game, Witty, who ran a 4.35 (40) and sparked the Bucks as a receiver and return specialist, injured his knee.

That article, written in August, also contains more details on the severity of Witty's injury, which he terms "total ACL repair":

For months after he struggled with the pain and the loss of strength and motion in his knee.

“The first couple of weeks, I turned it up as much as I could take,” Witty said. “After that, I fought through the pain and tried to make it more mental, which I knew I could handle and control better.”

While the doctors are slated to release Witty in early September, head coach Art Taylor will take his time bringing this talented athlete back, which means that this youngster will come back in less than a year after the surgery.

“I am about 70-75% right now, and we are in August,” Witty said. “I’ll be back. Right in time for everything to start moving quickly!“

I don't know if I 100% buy the article's hypothesis about Witty being "one of the top-rated safety prospects in South Florida" before the injury simply because ACL tears are no longer a big huge enormous career-altering deal most of the time and if Witty was really a big prospect schools still would have pursued him. Again, Vlad Emilien had Ohio State and Wisconsin and Stanford offers, amongst others, despite a near-identical injury and recovery schedule.

That fast-fast-fast stuff is backed up by his coach, though:

"Adrian is Denard but on defense. Adrian was our leader, and it was really unfortunate what happened to him last year. But he worked hard, and came back. He’s fast. Denard is a very fast young man, and Witty before the operation, rumor has it, could beat Denard in a race. He has a lot of speed. Adrian Witty is such a polite young man, and he’s not very flashy off the field. But on that field, he’s everywhere. I really can’t say enough about his personality either. He’s a really good kid, and a fantastic student in the classroom. Never in trouble, and I’ve never had any problems with him on or off the field."

So, I dunno, maybe they've got something here.

Witty also continues a theme under Rodriguez: the acquisition of guys who are completely obsessed with football, for whatever reason. (Perhaps the best examples of this are Tate Forcier and the various Pahokee guys.) Quote:

BEST MOMENT OF '07: "The best moment for me, point blank, is playing football. I can't really tell you what the best moment is."

I like my players to be slightly deranged about football, so hurrah.

*on a team with Denard Robinson.

Why Denard Robinson? TEAM make GOOD LEADERSHIP

Guru Reliability: Low. Witty is under the radar.
General Excitement Level: Well… low. Offers and ratings and injury uncertainty.
Projection: Obvious redshirt, and then we'll see if all that stuff about his speed was true. I think there's a 30% chance  he defies his ranking becomes useful.



February 24th, 2009 at 2:04 PM ^

1st: I went to the same high school as Ben Roethlisberger and Miami(OH) recruited his high school friend who was a WR as well even though he wasn't projected as a D1 athlete, nor did he have the grades. But he did get Ben to sign with them so here is to hoping Denard turns out as good as Big Ben.

2nd: Wasn't Vlads knee injury during his senior season allowing him to participate in many of the summer camps/combines before his senior year which upped his stock? If Witty hurt his knee at the end of his junior year and it held him out until mid senior year he would have missed all those combines and such to raise his stock. For only playing half his senior year, 50 tackles is pretty impressive. How many games did he actually plan in?


February 24th, 2009 at 3:27 PM ^

In terms of hanger-on, Witty seems like a decent pick-up for UM. Sure, Robinson was the catch, but if this kids FAKE!!! 40 times are even remotely accurate, he'll probably see some time in the loose change formations, and could also help with special teams. Plus, as Brian pointed out, he clearly LOVES football and sounds like a decent student, so I am cautiously optimistic that he won't be causing trouble while on campus either.

Icehole Woody

February 25th, 2009 at 8:37 AM ^

For his part, Witty thinks corner:

''If I go up there and work the way I know I'm going to work, I'll be the starting cornerback at Michigan next fall,'' said Witty

No offense to Witty, but if his prediction comes true while Boubacar Cissoko and Donovan Warren are still around you can find me on a ledge somewhere.