Exit Ray Vinopal

Submitted by Brian on March 23rd, 2011 at 12:53 PM


This rumor had been bouncing around the internet for long enough that it was hardly a rumor anymore, but Hoke has just confirmed it and now it's really not a rumor:

Hoke on Vinopal: "Ray decided to go back Youngstown. That issue's more a family issue."

Michigan loses both a two-star recruit no one expected would ever play and a guy who started half his freshman season, which says all you need to about last year's secondary. The free safety spot is manned by… uh… definitely somebody. I think we can safely assert Michigan will put eleven players on the field this fall. That's all we know. Since the depth chart by class has exactly one other body at the spot, that true freshman Minnesota decommit Tamani Carter, it's safe to say the eventual starter is kind of up in the air.



March 23rd, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

I always liked this kid.  He isn't the type who is going to win awards or ever be a top draft pick.  But, he is the type who could win you games and championships.  I wish him the best and hope to see him come back if ever possible.

Wolverine In Exile

March 23rd, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

but just a couple days ago, Hoke told Angelique that the safeties were fine (sic) in his early impression, it was the cornerbacks he was worried about. Given the assumption that Hoke had knowledge of Vinopal's issues for a while now, I'd assume he made that statement about our safety depth with knowledge of Vinopal's impending departure. Looking for I guess an appearance by some of our former CB's at S in the spring game who have been practicing there all ... um... spring.


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:58 PM ^

But that does clear up a question - I'd thought Carvin would be the starting SS this year over Kovacs.  But if he's a FS with CC, then that means Marvin's over at SS. 

Kovacs-Woolfolk-Avery-Johnson isn't bad, and even slightly experienced
Marvin-Woolfolk-Avery-Johnson isn't bad either

I'm actually disappointed that CC's not at CB, I still thought he had potential there.


March 23rd, 2011 at 3:18 PM ^

I think Josh Furman and M-Rob might be names to look out for at the SS position.

I'm not too disappointed hearing the Buck is moving to FS.  Coming in there were always discussions about him playing safety.  I'm no expert, but lots of people who know better than I have said that he might be better suited for safety position.


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:03 PM ^

Hate to loose the depth but most of all you hate to loose a character kid. Seemed to have great heart and hope for the best with his family.


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:04 PM ^

Being from Youngstown myself, and wanting nothing more than to go to Michigan, I feel so bad for him as he seemed to love being at Michigan. I really wish him the best with his family and everything he does in life.


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:07 PM ^

I can't see Woolfolk playing at CB at this point.  Our corners might not be very good, but at least they've got some experience at the position. 


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:08 PM ^

i loved his blazing speed and solid tackling ability, so i was hoping to see more of him next few yrs, but also love how he is choosing family over his passion (sorta like mcguffie).

wish him nothing but the best.


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:19 PM ^

but I think he was the fastest guy (in a straight line) that we had in the secondary last year.  He is way faster than JT Floyd, Cameron Gordon or Jordan Kovacs. And I thought his tackling was pretty good. He didn't have enough muscle but I assumed that would be significantly improved by this fall. In fact, the only person I thought who would be better at free safety on the entire roster was Woolfolk, and that was only if he was fully recovered. He will be missed, don't doubt that.


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:23 PM ^

I think the disconnect with our knowledge of the roster vs. what Hoke is saying comes from the way he will deploy the safeties.  I believe Hoke wants to leave his corners on an island and allow the safeties to fly to the ball to support the run defense as opposed to Robinson who wanted a free safety who had to cover a lot more open field. If we don't need a speedster at Free safety, we actually have a good amount of depth. However, we lack shutdown corners. JT Floyd is a decent football player but he needs a cushion and help over the top to cover Big Ten wideouts. Same goes for Cullen Christian.


March 23rd, 2011 at 2:10 PM ^

He had already outperformed his star ranking and I thought he would be a significant contributor for the next three years. Sorry to see  you go Ray and hope things work out for you and your family.


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:23 PM ^

anything more? watched him play for mooney multiple times, was shocked and excited when he was offered and really looked forward to seeing him push others on the depth cart.

family issues means what?


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:31 PM ^

He never would have started if our secondary wasn't so depleted, but he played way over his head and definitely made the most of the opportunity. Sad to see him go. Best of luck to him. 


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:31 PM ^

I'm pretty sure most of the positions in the secondary are still up in the air.  I think the only positions really solidified are those on the line.  Ray's spot is just another to add to a list of question marks.


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:33 PM ^

I hope your family issues clear up and you can make it back to Ann Arbor in a year or so.

Until then, I guess your picture has to go on the lost DB Quilt. 2 star to starter.


March 23rd, 2011 at 1:36 PM ^

was gonna leave regardless of who the coach was due to family situations, I can't help but wonder how much garbage would have been piled onto the previous regime in this situation.

Creedence Tapes

March 23rd, 2011 at 1:46 PM ^

Criticism of the previous regime would have been warranted, as they had 2.5 draft classes to address the depth chart at safety. The current regime at least will take responsibility for the way our defense is playing, instead of saying Vince Lombardi couldn't coach this group to success. 


March 23rd, 2011 at 2:18 PM ^

my point had nothing to day AT ALL with success on the field. It had everything to do with the double standard where ANY TIME someone would leave, we'd see a whole bunch of "OMG FAMILY VALUES" comments and people who assumed that kids ONLY left the program under RR, while failing to realize that kids leave UNDER EVERY COACH IN EVERY PROGRAM.

Creedence Tapes

March 23rd, 2011 at 3:19 PM ^

Your argument is stupid, we've only lost 2 players to the coaching transition under Hoke, Tate who flunked out, and Ray who has family issues. From every other account the players are happy and I think they are welcoming the change in attitude from the coaching staff. 


March 23rd, 2011 at 5:03 PM ^

that ppl were so quick to jump on the previous regime for "running off" players like Mallet. Now don't get me wrong, I am ok that they dismissed RR (contrary to the "mental health" comments of one guy above), but I just find it stupid how the standard has completely changed.