Hello: Ross Douglas

Submitted by Brian on July 24th, 2012 at 12:55 PM


watchu talkin' bout, Penn State?

Well, I was wrong about Penn State implosions not having a direct effect on Michigan's roster: OH CB Ross Douglas decommitted from Penn State two seconds after the sanctions were announced, got an offer from Michigan today, and committed about two seconds after he got it.

Douglas is a four star at three of the four recruiting sites; at 5'10", 180 he's more in the Courtney Avery mold than the lanky guys Michigan's already acquired. More details in an INFORMATIVE UPDATE forthcoming.



#21. Does a lot of tailbackin' in high school. via


Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7
3*, #42 CB 4*, #22 CB, #222 overall 4*, #30 CB 4*, #25 CB

Ross is a four star to everyone but Scout; no one puts him in the top 200. FWIW, Ross was in the initial 24/7 top 247, right at the tail end. He's probably just outside it right now.

Given his size, which is listed at 5'10" and gives off a vibe of generosity, the rankings imply his skill level is high but the height puts a cap on his ceiling.  The level of disagreement here is far smaller than for, say, Gareon Conley, who is either awesome or not awesome depending on who you listen to.

ESPN's evaluation backs up the high floor, low ceiling guess:

Plays and pursues fast but lacks ideal top-end speed and does not project to be lock down cover corner in college you want to leave on an island. Shows a good nose for the ball and is at his best playing the pass in front of him. Displays good footwork and balance as well as closing burst. Lacks a tight, fluid waist and doesn't always look smooth in transition when locked down in man but he can recover with burst and proper inside positioning to make a play on the ball. Does a good job using his hands and leverage in tight coverage. Aggressive and effective in press; will reroute and take away the inside release. Competes for the jump-ball when challenged deep in one-on-one coverage but can struggle versus taller receivers. We didn't see great leaping or ball skills. This is a solid second level defender.

Douglas attended the Columbus NTFC at which David Dawson and Malik McDowell drew raves, and did well for himself:

4. Ross Douglass, CB, Avon (Ohio) High School – The defensive back group in Columbus was very strong and had a lot of depth to it. On this day, Penn State commit Ross Douglas was our pick for the top player of the talented group. He doesn’t have the height and length that is ideal in a corner prospect but he was the most fluid and natural defender in coverage at the event.

Douglas has great feet, flips his hips with ease and he also has some make-up speed to recover in tight spaces. The only thing he seems to be missing is that prototype height.

Another evaluation:

DB: Ross Douglas, 5-10, 179, Avon (Ohio)
Breakdown: It was Douglas' ability to cover in the slot that grab the eyes of the coaches. He is very quick and showed an understanding of zone coverages.

And Barton Simmons responds to a question:

Douglas is awesome he's just a little bit undersized.

Helmholdt on the NIKE camp:

Douglas is so consistently clean in coverage that you almost forget he is out there. Not hearing your name called is a good thing at the cornerback position, and the public address announcer is not saying "Douglas" very often. The 5-10, 175-pound prospect is not a flashy player. He stays in great position in relation to the wide receiver throughout routes and makes throwing the ball in his direction very unappealing. Douglas has all the speed he needs to stay with receivers and his technique is near flawless.

We're getting a picture here. It's a picture of Courtney Avery.

FWIW, he attended The Opening, and told Allen Trieu($) that he plans to enroll early:

"The plan right now is to graduate early. I'm on track right now. I'm taking a summer class and I'm doing very well in it, so I'm on track to do that. They said if I come in and just bust my tail, there will be an opportunity for me and that's exactly what I'm going to do."

No reason that plan would have changed, unlike his plan to go to Penn State. Douglas said he was "120% solid" to PSU in April, but the situation changed slightly after he said that.


Douglas obviously had a Penn State offer. Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Tennessee also offered. Michigan and other regional powers had not checked in with offers but they didn't have much time: Douglas pulled the trigger on his PSU commitment in February and was on the market the second time for all of a day.


Junior year:

* 38. Ross Douglas, defensive back, Avon – Douglas (5-10, 180, 4.4) was a third-team All-Ohio pick in Division II. Douglas helped Avon reach the Division II state title game. As a junior, he carried 175 times for 1,019 yards and 15 touchdowns and added 10 catches for 150 yards and another score. On defense, he had 40 tackles, 13 pass break-ups and one interception.

Yes, that is Bucknuts ranking him the #38 player in the state.





You'll be surprised that the soundtrack is RAWK instead of rap. I was, at least.


Douglas's commitment gives Michigan a whopping four cornerbacks in the class. Douglas is the second short guy (Jourdan Lewis is the other) to go with tall guys Channing Stribling and Gareon Conley. Meanwhile, only JT Floyd exits after this year. Michigan is loading up at corner.

So it might be tough for all of these guys to see the field… except when it's not. Cornerback is a spot with three starters these days, and Michigan is preparing for the days when they'll take on some future NFL quarterback in a BCS bowl. I get it. I remember Football Armageddon. I like it.

Michigan has three distinct corner positions:

  • Field corner: plays to the wide side of the field, often against the best WR the opponent has to offer. Less run support responsibility.
  • Boundary corner: plays to short side of the field. Usually a bigger guy better on the edge.
  • Nickelback: plays over the slot. Has safety help virtually all the time. Priority is underneath routes and quickness. Doesn't have to be tall.

Douglas seems like a nickel, Lewis a field corner, and the other two boundary corners unless one of them turns out to be really really good in which case he can play field corner and flapjacks for everyone.

At nickel, Douglas has to deal with one year of Courtney Avery and a couple of Delonte Hollowell; after that he has a surprisingly clear path to a starting-ish job. I think Michigan would prefer it if they had two bigger guys on the outside, but the emphasis placed on that third corner spot is obvious… and reassuring.


Here's your upshot: Michigan is done save for a receiver they hope will be LaQuon Treadwell.


Douglas's commitment all but erases any chance Michigan will go after a Penn State transfer who has more than one year of eligibility left. They want to add a receiver, they probably will get Treadwell, and they are already banking on attrition to get the 24 guys currently budgeted on campus. They're preparing for a reasonable level now, but adding further guys would be pushing it*.

Exception: if Frank Clark's stuff escalates into a career termination event Michigan may look to a Zettel to nerf the damage.

*[Obligatory oversigning note: Michigan is not going to sign guys they don't have room for because of Big Ten rules, and they converted all their scholarship offers to multi-year. The risk here is pissing off a kid you promised a scholarship to, whereupon he goes somewhere else. That's an order of magnitude less cynical than the Alabamas of the world. But it is something less that perfect moral rectitude and makes me a little uncomfortable.]



July 24th, 2012 at 12:59 PM ^

Great news! I was surprised that we would take another DB at first, does this mean we hold out for Treadwell and tell everyone else (Green, etc) that we're full? Or perhaps the recent legal situation has bumped us up to a class of 25? Regardless, I trust in the coaches here, great pickup.


July 24th, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

Awesome pick up!  Hopefully The Quon commits now that one spot remains, and if there is any attrition (as there always can be expected to be) we look to add another 320 pound DT to the Maize and Blue Buffalo Stampede alongside Peewee Pip & Co.


July 24th, 2012 at 1:02 PM ^

Welcome young man.  Sorry your first choice didn't pan out due to the incredibly unfortunate circumstances, but I think you will enjoy being a Michigan man.


July 24th, 2012 at 1:40 PM ^

Extremely soft landing....

From a top 50 academic institution with incredible facilities, football tradition, and 100K+ stadium seating capacity to...

A top 25 academic institution with incredible facilities, football tradition, and 100K+ stadium seating capacity.

Add in the Michigan/OSU rivalry for the Ohio native and he really came out of the situation well.  I was digging through their recruting class the other day and I though he was going to end up at OSU.

Hardware Sushi

July 24th, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

Congrats to Ross and welcome to the class!

Count me surprised. I feel like Ross is a poor man's Jourdan Lewis. Surprised we took him over several of the other options for one of the two last spots (McQuay, Green, Bailey, etc.) with Treadwell. Regardless, seems like a good prospect.

Maybe this class gets to 25? Maybe I'm overanalyzing...


July 24th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

Do we have two extra scholarships available since Fitzgerald and Frank were kicked off the team?  I'm not sure how all that works, but might have something to do with it.  If thats not the case then the coaching staff must think that Ross is worthy of getting one of the two scholarships currently available, or maybe this scholarship won't be counted against this years class because of the NCAA ruling?


July 24th, 2012 at 1:20 PM ^

Fitz and Clark are currently suspended but still on scholarship. Of the two, only Clark's offense is remotely likely to result in getting the boot completely. Even then, it will likely only be after the legal process plays out and if it plays out unfavorably for Clark. At any rate, I would be shocked if taking Douglas has anything to do with either incidents. I think it's more of a case that the coaches like what they see at a position of need and/or feel their other prospects are cooling.

Douglas is a 2013 prospect who hasn't signed a binding LOI yet so he's not transferring, he's decommitting and committing to Michigan just like any other recruit, so no waiver.



July 24th, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

The yearly 25 commit cap is not the limiting factor this year like it was last year. We are bumping into the 85 total scholarship limit, so counting an EE won't help (also, we were full last year, so we wouldn't be able to count the EE towards last year either AFAIK). Unless there's higher than normal attrition or a lot of fifth year seniors are given the "firm handshake" and don't get their scholarships renewed, 26 is unlikely.


July 24th, 2012 at 2:59 PM ^

...but we can cut her a break.  Her wardrobe is most likely picked out by someone else.  Probably a drity rotten bucks fan...  Personally, I would have liked her to remove that filthy garment and go without.  Just out of principle, of course.

the Glove

July 24th, 2012 at 1:33 PM ^

I'm gonna be honest I have mixed feelings about the commitment. Michigan is on the short list of some big name recruits out there and it looks like some of the players that they said they'd wait on are out of time.

Mr. Yost

July 24th, 2012 at 8:34 PM ^

I understand most "young people" put rap over RAWK in their highlight videos...but very poor taste. I highly doubt it would've been said if this was Desmond Morgan's or Kyle Kalis' highlight video.

Mr. Yost

July 24th, 2012 at 10:43 PM ^

I understand most "young people" put rap over RAWK in their highlight videos...but very poor taste. I highly doubt it would've been said if this was Desmond Morgan's or Kyle Kalis' highlight video.