Hello: Ray Vinopal

Submitted by Brian on December 4th, 2009 at 2:50 PM

GBW is reporting that OH S Ray Vinopal has committed to Michigan($). Either that or they just like posting stories titled simply "Ray Vinopal!" Informative update coming.

Informative Update:



Scout Rivals ESPN
2*, #144 S 2*, NR 2*, 68, #254 ATH

All right… yeah. So Vinopal is a "sleeper" if you want to be kind or a "MAC prospect" if you're not a Michigan fan. But hey, he's basically Ted Ginn!

I saw Vinopal take an end around for a touchdown against MY Irish (St. Vincent St. Mary). The kid is ridiculously fast. He's one of those kids who you get into school and worry about a position later.

I hate to throw the comparison out there, but he reminds me of a shorter Ted Ginn.


Doesn't have the same top end speed IMO, but a very very good football player.

Oh. So, like, a slow Ted Ginn. More, because as long as we're taking a comment from a random Notre Dame message board it might as well be the whole thing:

People forget Ginn was a top cornerback coming out of high school, and switched to WR as a freshman. I could see the same thing with Ray. People will look at his size and say corner, but I think he'd be deadly in the slot and as a returner.

ESPN, for its part, does not reference Ted Ginn in its evaluation of the #254 "athlete" in the country:

Lacks desired length and height as a high-point safety as well. He is an active run defender who will come down and fill hard; provides good secondary support. Shows adequate closing burst and makes solid contact as a tackler with better-than-adequate pop. Overall underneath range and speed is good but he does not fill with great downhill burst and sharp angles; loses outside leverage on the ball at times. … Lacks quick diagnosing and reaction skills which is a concern. Not a guy who projects well playing down over the top of slots in man coverage schemes and feel he could struggle mirroring/breaking down on quicker skill players in space.

That is Jordan Kovacs. I don't know, maybe this evaluation was pre-senior season and he got a lot better, warranting the interest from major programs this fall, but that's the least enthusiastic ESPN scouting report this guy has ever seen.

…and that's all that's been written about Vinopal aside from a few game articles that mention long touchdown runs in Mooney's recently-concluded state championship season.


They aren't encouraging, as Vinopal was a sleeper going into his senior season and despite "interest" from a number of local power programs it doesn't appear that any other than Michigan pulled the trigger. So, the teams beaten out: Bowling Green, Kent State, and Air Force.

For what it's worth, Vinopal claimed that Notre Dame—where he visited for the USC game—and Pitt were considering him after his strong senior year. Wisconsin also might have offered in July or something, but it's unclear.


No senior stats yet but here's his junior year:

After intercepting two passes his sophomore season, the 5-foot-11 and 185-pound Vinopal had another interception his junior season and had three games in which he made over 10 tackles.  Vinopal also rushed for 1,112 yards and scored 12 times.


How about a spectacularly FAKE combine from Vinopal's freshman year?

Also deserving special mention was freshman ATH Ray Vinopal of Cardinal Mooney in Ohio.  At 5-foot-9 ½ and 178-pounds, he had a 28.5-inch vertical, 9-foot broad, 4.45 shuttle, 4.56 40, and 30 reps at 135-pounds.

4.56 40 as a freshman gets four FAKES out of five.


Vinopal is the guy running around with a huge arrow over his head:

And some pass coverage:


Well… if you care about recruiting rankings, Vinopal is clearly the least exciting recruit in the class. That ESPN evaluation checks off all the things you don't want to hear about a recruit: small, slow, confused, etc. And on film he really does look like Kovacs. But there's a reason I don't watch recruiting film: I am a blogger. Obviously Michigan and a couple other schools looking at Vinopal thought there was something there, but recruiting rankings are meaningful things and a Brandent Englemon is a best-case scenario here.

That said, sometimes guys fall through the cracks and a lot of successful defenses are built from parts like Tyler Sash and whoever Wisconsin's running out there these days. The odds are against Vinopal, but that's not a guarantee.


You can write off the renewed Oh S LaTwan Anderson interest: with Vinopal's addition, Michigan has six defensive backs in this class and is primed to add a seventh in FL CB Tony Grimes. More likely, Marvin Robinson will find himself at linebacker before long.

More interesting is the scholarship situation: Vinopal is the 23rd commitment and three guys are expected to commit sooner or later, pushing Michigan over 25 and necessitating someone coming in on a grayshirt if there is no attrition. Vinopal may be that grayshirt candidate, come to think of it. It's clear that Michigan will sign 28 this year with three guys aware that they are candidates to grayshirt if everyone gets in. Vinopal and the two guys currently unqualified are the most likely.

Etc.: Photo gallery of a Mooney blowout has several pictures of Vinopal.



December 5th, 2009 at 6:40 PM ^

Pat White:
3 star recruit
Offered by WV, Auburn, LSU, Alabama.

Steve Slaton:
3 star recruit
Offered by WV, NC, Boston College, Rutgers (ok, those aren't the greatest)

Did RR discover something that no one else was on to? No.

We all hope this kid turns out to be an all-american, but RR was the only major coach in the nation to offer this kid and we have more sought after kids wanting to play here. At this point, I'd rather put my trust in a kid that other coaches like as well.


December 5th, 2009 at 6:53 PM ^

I've read most of the entries, and it amazes me how little people know about college football. They know Michigan's past, which was glorious, but they fail to see where we are now. This rebuilding process is something that the modern Michigan Nation has not seen. Everyone has the answer of course. Most people are hopeful. Right now I trust the coaches. The coaches know their system. They acquire the players they need. and will build Michigan into the athletic, agile, shifty juggernaut that will be the next era of its own dominance of the cfb world.


December 5th, 2009 at 7:19 PM ^

At this point, I'd rather put my trust in a kid that other coaches like as well.

So what you're saying is you want Rich Rod fired? (Yes, I AM putting words in your mouth)

If you think you know more than he does on how to recruit players for Michigan (offer only who other coaches like) then you'd better go buy your torch and pitchfork now and beat the rush.
Recruiting is the most fundamental aspect of college coaching there is! There's no free agency!
You either evaluate talent properly and recruit the right kids for your school or you don't. Those who do (and coach them properly) win championships; those who don't (who may be great tacticians) will never see those teams rise above mediocrity.

If you don't buy the already listed possible reasons that this guy was signed:
1. Our current record, coupled with inside info about de-commits means this is the best of very bad options.
2. He actually has more talent than most think and RR has seen it.

If you don't buy either one of those, the only conclusion is: 3. That Rich Rod has fucked up, and can't recruit properly, therefore he should probably be canned.

I think 1 and 2 are more realistic (at least optimistic) to me, but if you don't think so, then you shouldn't be too surprised by all the negging going on.


December 6th, 2009 at 12:27 AM ^

Cissoko was a 4 / 5 star recruit by the rivals and scout....We all know how that turned out. Now I am not saying he couldn't have gotten better with time and coaching, but when looking at the individual, stars are not all that matter. Sure, when looking at the overall team haul, team recruiting ranking matter as they are based on many player projections...and the error goes down when assessing in quantity.


December 6th, 2009 at 2:27 PM ^

Can we all admit that the situation is starting to look, at the very least, less than desirable for next year? I'm sure RR knows what he's doing, but this is disconcerting. I mean, that guy is what, our third or fourth "sleeper" in the '10 class? *cringes*


December 7th, 2009 at 10:56 AM ^

My high school teammate Jairus Byrd was a 2 star recruit coming out of high school. He ended up being the Pac-10's Freshman of the Year and leads the NFL in INTs as a rookie and will probably win defensive Rookie of the Year. Coming out of High School he woudn't have impressed most of you because his 40 wasn't all the fast and he was a little undersized but he had a nose for the ball and he won. Ray reminds me a lot of my boy Jairus. With the way things have gone the last few years especially on defense, what is so bad about RR taking a safety who creates turnovers and wins?


December 19th, 2009 at 6:33 PM ^

I thought I was the only guy who went to Michigan who played high school football with Jairus. All my buddies were assuming that I authored this post. That being said, I totally agree with all your points. Good job.


December 7th, 2009 at 11:21 AM ^

I saw him play his state finals game on television against a good team in columbus desales. He does remind me of Jordan Kovacs except he has more speed and better pass coverage. As long as the kid can tackle and not let receivers get behind him he is okay with me.
Also, I heard commentators saying that dion lewis, who is pittsburgh's starting rb wasn't even rated in New Jersey's top 150!