2010 Recruiting: Demar Dorsey Comment Count

Brian May 18th, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Previously: S Carvin Johnson, S Ray Vinopal, S Marvin Robinson, CB Courtney Avery, CB Terrence Talbott, and CB Cullen Christian.

Lauderdale Lakes, FL - 6'1" 175

what, me worry? 

Scout 4*, #19 S, #203 overall
Rivals 4*, #13 S, #162 overall
ESPN 5*, 85, #2 S, 12 overall
Others #102 overall to TAKKLE.
Other Suitors Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, USC, Miami
Previously On MGoBlog Commitment post. Tom interviews Dorsey. Drew Sharp fiasco. Bogus JUCO journey?
Notes  OMG Shirtless.

UA Game:

More, featuring actual things on the field:

There is also an ESPN interview in which Dorsey and another Gator commit talk up Florida. Oops. Surprisingly for such a touted recruit, there isn't much in the way of high school highlights lying around.

You've probably heard as much or more about Demar Dorsey than any Michigan recruit of recent vintage, but very little of it has been about his ability to, you know, play football. This post is going to assume you're aware of Dorsey's checkered past, the Detroit media's dogpile upon that checkered past, and the he's-going-to-JUCO-no-he-isn't-yes-he-is saga of about a month ago. There's a significant chance this is wasted effort—just today we got the news that there will be news on Dorsey in a few weeks— but the tabs are open so here we go.

Dorsey is kind of a big deal, having committed to Florida by March of 2009—just a month into the recruiting year. By that time he'd also picked up offers from Wisconsin, Miami, Florida State, and North Carolina. The Big Three instate by March is a level of interest in a Florida recruit Michigan has not seen in the Rich Rodriguez era. When Dorsey opened his recruitment up USC and Tennessee hopped in. Dorsey could have gone anywhere in the country.

Those offers were prompted by an incredibly FAKE 4.25 40 at the Under Armor combine he attended midway through his junior year. That 4.25 followed a 4.31. Even if fake, Dorsey's number was the best at a loaded combine and came with a 4.19 shuttle and 40-inch vertical leap. Remember those pictures of Denard Robinson housing fools en route to a 10.44 100 meters that he thought was disappointing? Yeah: that was big news in Florida because Robinson upset his cousin Dorsey. Dorsey was expected to be faster than Denard Robinson. This was because he'd previously busted out a 10.3 100.

Offers flowed like water, undeterred by the commitment. With good reason: it was so soft as to hardly exist, with Dorsey invariably claiming he was somewhere between 65 and 90 percent Gator whenever asked. After even more highly touted safety-type recruit Matt Elam completed his UF-FSU-UF oscillation Florida asked Dorsey to firm up his commit and cease visiting elsewhere. When he didn't, the parties parted ways. Just a couple weeks before that, Dorsey had been talking up Florida to recruits at the Under Armor game. I mean, seriously:

"It was a great day to be a Gator," said Fort Lauderdale Boyd Anderson cornerback Demar Dorsey, one of nine future UF players in the game. "If you weren't a Gator today, you were gator bait. We had interceptions, a couple forced fumbles, some touchdowns. We did a little bit of everything."

After an erroneous report Dorsey had committed to Florida State—check that: many persistent erroneous reports—Dorsey eventually picked Michigan on signing day at a press conference so long that it has taken its place in the hallowed land of Prime Recruitnik Intervention Material a mere three months after it transpired. His recruitment was strange, except it seems like there are four or five kids every year who have similar stories. It was in the genre of strange, then.

After all that, though, Dorsey doesn't check in as the world-destroying prospect you would expect… except on ESPN. Rivals and Scout both rank him in the 150-200-ish range. For comparison, that's where redshirt freshman DE and national non-story Anthony LaLota ended up last year. That's a good prospect who would look nice in just about anyone's class. It's not a ranking worthy of a ninja recruit who can cover three zones at the same time.

Twelfth overall is world-destroying, though, and that's where ESPN put him. Their rationale:

…has very good size and could even put on some bulk and not lose any of his speed or quickness. As a defensive back he is the entire package; a great blend of skill and natural talent. Very fast on run support with excellent closing speed. Gets to the ball carrier in a hurry and delivers the wood when he hits. Really explodes on contact and drives the legs throughout he tackle; really punishes the ball carrier. Changes directions fluidly and has loose hips to turn and run without a loss of speed. Displays leaping ability and goes up to high point the football and possesses soft and reliable hands in bringing it down. … Wins all the jump ball contests and is a real running threat to bring the ball back due to his speed and running abilities. Can play the strong and free position with equal talent but is a real intimidating force as a free safety where all of his talents can be utilized even though he can play man to man with the receiver in his zone. …an exceptional athlete that will be even more of a dynamic football player with some lower body bulk and strength.

Hello, nurse. Caveat: as mentioned, Dorsey tore up the turf at the UA combine and immediately agreed to play in the ESPN-sponsored UA game. The WWL has a tendency to puff up the prospects they get their claws on. Not to the extent where 12th nationally isn't worth a cocked eyebrow, but it's worth a mention.

Other sites agree with the bits about how he is a crazy athlete. Other than one negative assessment from Mike Farrell ("didn't separate well or show great ball skills… change of direction didn't scream cornerback") after Florida's Friday Night Lights camp, where he played receiver, it's all stuff like this:

The Florida Gators definitely got a freak athlete in Dorsey. He looks every bit of 6-1 and he is long, rangy and wiry strong. He is raw in coverage and he is not quite there yet as far as his technique and instincts but he has a ton of tools to work with. He is extremely quick twitch and he has phenomenal recovery speed and athleticism.

And this from Barton Simmons:

It's no secret that Dorsey has special speed and athleticism, but his skills translated very effectively to football ability. Though he wants to be a cornerback, safety is really the spot for him on defense. He has great range and has better than average mobility and fluidity. As a downhill player, he demonstrated some real physicality, providing probably the hit of the day from the safety position. Dorsey also lined up some on offense and he is extremely dangerous on that side of the ball as well. As a vertical threat he is a terrifying matchup.

Dorsey was subsequently named the fastest safety in the country and fastest player at the UA game; his performance there got him put back in the 250 after the FNL performance saw him drop out.

The story is no different at Scout: "Man can he run!" an article gushes before settling in on some worrying technique issues. His profile there is much the same:

As athletic as any player in the country with his combination of great size, frame, speed, and first step quickness. He's further ahead athletically than as a player. He can get caught turning the wrong way, has trouble getting off blocks, and is sloppy in his tackling form, but with the ball in his hands on returns and letting his instincts as an athlete takeover, he show’s that he’s special. Definition of an upside recruit.

Further scouting reports mention "blinding quickness" and predict a guy who will "easily be an all-conference performer" and lodge slight complaints about technique:

Dorsey flashed the talents he has, but still could have had a bigger impact on the game. Two separate times he went over the top of a receiver streaking down the sidelines to help from his free safety position, had he undercut the receiver those two plays (like he did on the INT) he could have come up with another interception and a big time hit. Dorsey proved the tools are there, it is just a matter of refining them to become a great free safety.

You get the idea.

At Michigan (knock on wood), Dorsey will start at corner. He is fine with this:

"All the schools have said they want me to play on both sides of the ball," he said. "I think I can play any position in the defensive backfield. I can play receiver on the other side of the ball.

"Whatever the team needs is where I want to play," he added.

This makes sense in the context of Michigan's needs and Dorsey's immense physical talents: cornerback is equivalent of tailback on defense, a spot where a talented freshman can come in and play as a freshman. Michigan's seen Leon Hall, Donovan Warren, Charles Woodson, Marlin Jackson, and many others come in with little more than the ability to run ridiculously fast. All have survived, if not excelled. Safety is much more complicated and Michigan is determined to let the Cam Gordon Safety Explosion play out.

As for the academics, a January newspaper article published his ACT score (18) and bluntly stated he "will be qualified," but if Rich Rodriguez is publicly stating that there will be news in a few weeks that qualification remains something that happens in the future. The premium sites are at odds, with Rivals declaring there is very little chance Dorsey qualifies and Scout considerably less strident. They're not exactly brimming with confidence, though. If you put a gun to my head, I'd say Fort Scott CC fans are going to get more use out of this post than y'all. That is a prediction made of 100% speculation: please no panic.

Why Leon Hall? Because I can't compare him to a guy who's currently a sophomore quarterback, right? And I can't compare him to Charles Woodson, peace be upon him, because even if You May Remember Me From Such Players As is not supposed to be a prediction of overall talent there are some things not broached even when it comes to hypothetical playing style comparisons.

Hall, then: a four-star in about the same range as Dorsey on Scout and Rivals, Hall arrived at Michigan a fairly big corner—though he's not as tall as Dorsey—and broke into the starting lineup as a freshman, developed into an All Big Ten corner and Thorpe finalist, and then burned up the track at the NFL combine, laying down a 4.38 in the one environment where you can't yell FAKE. He's currently pretty good, yo.

Etc.: Also punts! Origin of the No Fly Zone.

Guru Reliability: High. Can't be very high because one service is wildly enthusiastic and the others are just plain ol' enthusiastic, but the disagreement is just about technique issues that should
General Excitement Level: Either ridiculously high or nothing. Someone get this man a Kaplan tutor stat.
Projection: If he gets to campus he'll be thrown in the secondary blender immediately and probably see time as a backup or in a nickel package depending on how good Cullen Christian is. Redshirt exceedingly unlikely. Will he get to campus? Ask again later. Actually, don't.



May 18th, 2010 at 12:47 PM ^

I am all done using my ACT points- I'd be willing to donate a couple to Demar if he needs some.  Or, volunteer as a tutor.  Whatever it takes, really.


May 18th, 2010 at 12:54 PM ^

Second'd. I had a few extra, particularly since I applied to South Carolina-Upstate and not, say, Michigan-Ann Arbor or Swarthmore.


So, College Board, what'cha say? What's the exchange rate for ACT points?


May 18th, 2010 at 12:48 PM ^

All I can say is that I did talk "off the record" with one of Michigan's Recruiting coordinators and I was told that "as of today" we expect that Demar will be at Michigan in the fall. No one can give a guarantee, but I'll take it.

Bando Calrissian

May 18th, 2010 at 11:38 PM ^

When you outright say where the information came from (because how many recruiting coordinators does Michigan have?  One.), then it's out of line.  If he said "a source in the Athletic Department told me...", OK, fine, but when you say "one of Michigan's recruiting coordinators," according to the staff roster of Michigan Football, you just revealed you had a conversation with Chris Singletary. 

Off the record requires that you not name your source, and veiling that anonymity with their job title is not a valid substitute for direct attributation. 


May 18th, 2010 at 1:05 PM ^

let's hope he gets his academics in line so he can use it to earn a top notch education.  It was horrible watching his name get drug through the mud a couple of months ago.  i hope he uses that experience as motivation and proves all the haters wrong both on and off the field.  Even if he has to make a short stop elsewhere, I want to see him eventually succeed at Michigan. 

El Jeffe

May 18th, 2010 at 1:05 PM ^

Unless and until the good people of Fort Scott, KS convince me that they love grillz and dreads as much as I love grillz and dreads, I say they can't have him.

Bando Calrissian

May 18th, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

This is NOT a comment on Denard, but just a general editorial comment:  I wonder how many students there are at the University of Michigan with an ACT score of 18.  Or how many applications would have made it past the first step of the process with an 18 on them without a scholarship offer from the Athletic Department attached.

Just brings pause to see an ACT score of 18.

Section 1

May 18th, 2010 at 1:23 PM ^

Of course your comment is about "Demar," even though you typed "Denard."  You're talking about Demar Dorsey's ACT score.  The leaking of which, incidentally, is a federal offense if I am not mistaken.  But that's beside the point.

As you probably know, the academic comparison between Florida and Florida State is something like the academic comparison between Michigan and Michigan State.  I suspect that Michigan is harder to get into than Florida, and Michigan State's academics are clearly better than Florida State's, but you get the idea.  For you to insinuate that Demar Dorsey's admissions considerations at Michigan are out of line, but that they'd have been no big deal at the University of Florida is, like, whack.  Dude.

Section 1

May 18th, 2010 at 8:13 PM ^

I daresay you and the website have nothing to worry about in accurate reporting of what has been in the public domain.

I did say anyone who wrongly "leaked" the score might be eligible for a federal indictment.  That's the originator, and if it was a wrongful leaking, it is that original leaker (no one else) who is in criminal jeopardy. 

Bando Calrissian

May 18th, 2010 at 11:49 PM ^

Where did I bring up Florida?  Or Florida State?  Or Michigan State?

I mean, go ahead, put words in my mouth, whatever.  I was just making a point that an ACT score of 18 is an ACT score of 18.  And at the University of Michigan, that's an anomaly.  Then again, so is being able to run a 4.25 40.

Of course athletes get preferential treatment for admissions, and of course making a student actually get into Michigan on their academic merits to play sports would turn most programs into the Northwestern's and Stanford's of the world (two programs which, for decades, required regular academic admission before addition to the roster, hence their doormat status).  I don't think anyone on earth is blind to that.  Come on. 


May 18th, 2010 at 1:36 PM ^

I would bet there are plenty of students at Michigan, and other top schools, who are there only b/c their parents donated a lot of money.  That is almost worse to me.  Also, a lot of these rich kids (and even middle class kids like me) had the fortune of having good high schools and being able to take prep courses (MCAT, not ACT or SAT for me) to help our education.  I don't have a problem with these kids getting in b/c there are plenty of others who probably shouldn't be there as well, but that's how the world works.  If you have something to offer (athletic talent, musical talent, brain talent, money talent), then, welcome...


May 18th, 2010 at 2:44 PM ^

Self-loathing?  Not even one bit.  I've had everything in life I could have ever wanted.  I'm trying to put myself in the situation of someone from a low-income household who didn't get a great K-12 education, who might not be in the most advantageous situation in life, other than sports or whatever other talent.  To say getting an 18 on the ACT should preclude getting into Michigan, well, it's somewhat right, unless that person has another reason to be there.  And my comparison is to others who might have gotten in for "lesser" reasons.  No self-loathing here whatsoever.

Bando Calrissian

May 18th, 2010 at 11:57 PM ^

So the assumption is being made that all athletes come from disadvantaged high schools, and that's why some of them have lower standardized test scores?  Are there kids with sub-standard standardized test scores who come to major Universities on athletics scholarships from top-tier high schools, who have had the advantages of functioning schools and great home situations, etc. etc.?  Absolutely. 

And I'd make the argument that even the best ballet dancer or oboe player or visual artist in the world isn't going to have a hope in the world of getting into the University of Michigan with an 18 ACT on their transcript.  They're still applying on the merits of their academic application in addition to their talent, not NCAA minimums and recommendations from the Athletic Department.  I don't know how you could argue otherwise.  That's just the fact of the matter.  Let's call a spade a spade.  And it's not like Michigan is the only school where this happens, either.  It's a given in D1 athletics. 

Mr. Robot

May 19th, 2010 at 1:24 AM ^

I would be willing to wager that somebody absurdly good at something artistic could probably get in with an 18.

I know a couple of people from high school that got in with weak ACT scores. They were higher than 18, mind you, but these individuals also didn't have any specific outstanding talent to make the University overlook a rotten ACT score. Somebody like Dorsey, on the other hand, does have that talent (Plus the Athletic Department) behind him. As best as I can tell, the University takes ACT (Or SAT, or whatever), GPA, and extra-cirriculars into account. If you are a run of the mill American (Without considering the University's own bias toward diversity and accepting people just because they are from Nowhere, USA. No really, I was told straight up by a representative in high school that we had a better shot just because we don't send as many kids to Michigan as they think ought to be coming from us...) have stock in 2 out of the 3, you're in. Football, ballet, or whatever, definitely covers #3, and if you're really, REALLY good at it, the University could be willing to look past a mediocre #1 and #2.

I would further like to point out that while to most of us Michigan students 18 seems like complete idocy, that is in fact not too much lower than the national average. Add on the fact that Florida isn't well known for its public education, and all of a sudden 18 isn't the kiss of death for someone with other redeeming qualities. This still leaves the GPA issue, but it is to my understanding that Dorsey had practically nothing for a GPA before realizing he should get his crap together so he could go to college. That would make his transcript look very good on the back end and really ratty on the front end. This would show that he has made significant improvement, which is another one of those things admissions looks out for. Add on the fact that, if I recall, they recalculate your GPA for purposes of admissions and DO NOT include your freshman year of high school, and its entirely possible that his UM-figured GPA is actually pretty high (Even if a tremendously bad freshman year almost makes him ineligible by NCAA standards).

With all that being said, there is no way Dorsey would get into Michigan if he wasn't going to play football. I do not mean to imply that. I mean mearly to suggest that admissions actually has a lot of items to look at that make Dorsey a good candidate when they consider he does excel at an extra-cirricular that would make them okay with accepting him where they did not have those same items for, say, Adrian Witty. I've always gotten the impression from what I know of various friends that UM tries pretty hard to justify letting you in. You're only really screwed if you have meh credentials straight across the board and come from a high school in a 30 mile radius that sends kids to Michigan like the University is going to disappear suddenly.

Don't forget either that, as an athlete, he has access to the academic resources the University employs to keep their athletes passing, which an admissions person would certainly feel good about academically speaking without the whole preferential treatment in general. If there is reasont o believe he's improving, those resources would make a huge difference. Unfortuantely, the same cannot be said of the kid who's good at ballet, but something tells me such a student is going straight to Music, Theater, and Dance anyway, so bombing the ACT because the suck at math and science probably wouldn't kill them either, so long as they have a decent GPA and really are THAT good at ballet.

Blue in Seattle

May 18th, 2010 at 3:59 PM ^

because the University of Michigan was sued for using racial profiling illegally in their admissions process.  This law suit had nothing to do with athletes, but admissions in general.

My point being that Michigan won the law suit and to my memory stated, "we use a lot of criteria beyond just grade point and test scores to determine who should be admitted.  But in general the process not only makes sure the student bidy is sufficiently diverse, but also made up of students who will succeed and earn a degree."

You can read the University's statement on the admissions portion of the website, versus my general memory statement.


Overall, I think it's obvious that athletes are considered differently than other students seeking admission.  And while I'm not spending the short amount of time to find the instances where Brian has pointed out the accomplishments of many football alumni, I for one think it's a great benefit to the student population that athletes are included, and that all of their effort and dedication to their sport is acknowledged and used as part of their admission.

I think the question behind your stated, "who else gets in with an 18 on their ACT" is,  a general "why do athletes get admitted to lower standards"

To which I respond, I'm pretty sure that I'm better at math than Demar, and I'm absolutely sure that he's better at running and jumping than I am.  But I'm glad that we both had an opportunity to get a degree from the University of Michigan.  I'm very glad I experienced what Michigan has to offer rather than what Brown University has to offer.






Captain Obvious

May 18th, 2010 at 5:59 PM ^

There were 2 affirmative action suits against UM - 1 against the law school and one against the undergrad.  UM won the former and lost the latter.

The suit against the LS failed for the reasons you stated - they had a holistic process that evaluated applicants' diversity in many ways, without assigning any numerical bump based on race.

The suit against the UG succeeded because it was deemed an impermissible "quota" system, granting certain underrepresented minorities a discrete numerical advantage in the application process.


May 18th, 2010 at 11:57 PM ^

In regards to the suit against the undergrads, the university "lost" in that the Supreme Court ruled that points couldn't be handed out just because of the race of the applicant. However, the university won in that it was ruled that race could still be used as a factor in admissions. Following the decision, the admissions department did away with the points system and hired more people to read applications.


Captain Obvious

May 19th, 2010 at 10:17 AM ^

why you picked out a blindingly obvious argument that is implicit in my post and claimed I got it "wrong."  It's pretty obvious that the UG could dump their old system of assigning a numerical bump and adopt the law school's holistic process, which as I said was ruled constitutional.

Feat of Clay

May 19th, 2010 at 12:55 AM ^

You're right except I think the term "Quota" in this context is wrong.  I thought that quota, in suits such as these, referred to a practice of admitting (or hiring) to reach a certain headcount.  That was not the case at Michigan.  

Sorry for nitpicking your otherwise accurate nitpick.

Captain Obvious

May 19th, 2010 at 10:13 AM ^

Your explanation is the correct standard use of a "quota system," but the court used the term quota system to describe this arrangement because there was a standardized numerical bump assigned to particular under-represented minority applicants.

Blue in Yarmouth

May 19th, 2010 at 7:56 AM ^

I am not aware whether it has ever been challanged, but this quota system is quite common in Canada.

In the medical school I attended this was the case. It worked basically like this: Each year the university would accept 100 applicants (not reall, but this is for simplicity sake) and of that 100 applicants 30 must be Native Canadians, 30 must be visible minorities, 30 must be female (of any type) and 10 were white males (these are the actual percentages).

Essentially what this meant was if you were a white male and had the 11 best application (combining test scores, gpa, and all the other stuff like interviews etc) but the 10 ahead of you were all white males, you were shit out of luck. On the flip side, if your application was barely in the top 400, but you were a visible minority and they only had accepted 29 to that point, then you would get in.

Again, I am not sure if this has ever been challanged in court, or if it is still the common practise it was when I was accepted 14 years ago, but that is how it worked when I was there.

Shortly after I was accepted (I think it was about 3 years into med school) my Uncle was made  Dean of Medicine (who incidently did his Phd at U of M back in the 70's) and just left the post two years ago. I was speaking to him at my Father's funeral in January and he said the quota system was still in place when he left.

Anyway, just mentioning that this type of system does exist in Canada, if not in the USA.


May 18th, 2010 at 1:09 PM ^

is not like Leon Hall.  Leon Hall is a steady, solid CB, but is not considered to be a phenomeonal athlete.  Demar is closer to Charles Woodson in terms of athleticism and Dorsey is probably faster than Woodson.  Woodson came in as a raw, but crazy athletic CB where he was recruited to play RB by every schools including big time programs.  I can't help but think that I may see a ghost of Chuck when I see him.  He brings swagger, athleticism and a lot of confidence.

Huntington Wolverine

May 18th, 2010 at 1:29 PM ^

I don't think Brian or the rest of us would disagree per se but I think this is a valid reason for the comparison to Leon Hall instead of CW:

Why Leon Hall? Because I can't compare him to a guy who's currently a sophomore quarterback, right? And I can't compare him to Charles Woodson, peace be upon him, because even if You May Remember Me From Such Players As is not supposed to be a prediction of overall talent there are some things not broached even when it comes to hypothetical playing style comparisons

Crime Reporter

May 18th, 2010 at 1:12 PM ^

Aside from stumpy legs Vinopal, Dorsey is my favorite recruit from this class. I'm really pulling for him, especially after the hit jobs in the Detroit press. O LET QUALIFY!

His Dudeness

May 18th, 2010 at 1:13 PM ^

Detroit Media: You're everyone's problem. That's because every time you go up in the air, you're unsafe. I don't like you because you're dangerous.

Demar: That's right! Detroit Media... man. I am dangerous.


May 18th, 2010 at 1:16 PM ^

How can you say "please no panic" and expect us not to panic.  Panic is what we do best in these here parts.  Especially when we are told not to panic.

Commence panic!


May 18th, 2010 at 1:20 PM ^

This is a pretty good assessment.  There's no great comparison for Dorsey within the last 10-15 years, I don't think.  If he gets qualified and keeps his head on straight, he's an All Big Ten player in a couple years.

Jon Benke

May 18th, 2010 at 6:14 PM ^

He's a freak of nature, no one can discount that.

If you hate Michigan, you don't want this kid to qualify.  I think if him and Christian can come in and give this team some depth in the secondary, that could easily lead to us having a better defense than most expected.  It's small things like this that can snowball this team from a young team, to something special.