Hello: Vlad Emilien

Submitted by Brian on November 24th, 2008 at 12:36 PM

The safety with the sweetest name and most ready-made nickname ("The Impaler") in the history of sweet names with ready made nicknames has committed to Michigan($). I know I'm late but Monday morning after the OSU game is a bad time to commit.

Informative update coming.

Informative update!



Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, #41 S 4*, #16 S 80, #19 S

Two sites say Emilien is a mid-to-low four star prospect; Scout says "meh." A possible reason for the disparity:

Plantation safety Vlad Emilien (6-1, 195) tore his meniscus in his right knee at the Nike Camp at UM this spring and tore his ACL during spring practices. He is hopeful to return in time for the playoffs.

"Spring practices" isn't quite right: the injury happened in July. Emilien has missed the entirety of his senior season to date. This makes him something of a risk, but as you'll see in the next section it's one a lot of schools felt was worth taking.

ESPN says the thing I most want to hear:

Comes up from the free safety position at proper run support angles and usually can react on the run.


Pass coverage is solid from both three deep and halves coverage. Makes a good break on the pass and times the interception well even though leaping ability is questionable. Physical when separating the receiver from the football. Emilien is a very good athlete that is a real competitor and gives super effort every play. Needs to keep working on strength and tackling techniques. He is a better strong safety candidate than free.

Here's a coach quote from before Emilien's injury:

Vlad  is still just really developing,'' Davis said. ``He was a running back as a freshman. I think he has the potential to be just like [current Gator] Major Wright.''

Hey, that's a good comparison except that Wright was a fixture in Florida's nuclear wasteland of a secondary in 2007; with the injury to a "still developing player" I think early playing time is going to be limited to special teams.

We do have some evidence that Emilien has super healing powers like Wolverine (adamantium comic book guy version) or is just a maniacal worker:

“I’m way ahead of track, that’s what the doctors tell me,” said Emilien. “I just don’t want to risk coming back too early, so I’m trying to get it as strong as possible now. The whole thing (rehab) is going real fast for me.”

July ACL tear could lead to a November/September return? I think that would be some sort of record.

More evidence for the maniacal worker theory:

WHAT I DO TO STAY IN SHAPE: "I'm a workaholic; basically all I do is train, train, train. I wake up at 5 a.m. and go train. I run track, too, so I'm trying to keep myself in shape for that. I lift weights. Go on the track and do a couple of 400s to keep my endurance up. I run a couple of 110s, because that's what they run in college. I've got to get used to the college life and make sure my speed is up."

Also, if you missed it the first time here's Tom VanHaarren's Emilien interview. And Emilien joins the legion of Michigan recruits planning to enroll early.


Emilien's recruiting was odd. He picked up an early offer from Ohio State in March and, along with his teammate Brandon McGee, seemed to be favoring the Buckeyes. Then OSU got a flood of defensive back commitments and had no room. They kept in contact with Emilien until his injury, at which point they backed off. Then OSU safety commit Bradley McDougald got in trouble for something or another and got his offer pulled, at which point Ohio State got involved again.

As late as August Michigan wasn't even in Emilien's top six, but then again no one other than Ohio State who ended up in his final four was in that top six.

Other early offers came from Tennessee, Auburn, Illinois, Purdue, South Carolina, Kentucky, and South Florida; Emilien picked Michigan over a final group containing OSU, Wisconsin, and Stanford.


Emilien missed his senior year with the injury; as a junior he picked up 93 tackles and three interceptions.


Scout lists Emilien at 4.5, which is so fake. The guy has a torn ACL, Scout.


I could not locate any free video, sadly.


The injury hurts Emilien's chances at early playing time; missing a full year in high school has to set you back experience-wise. The timing of the injury allows him to recover quickly enough to possibly participate in his team's playoff games, so he should be fine by January and can participate in spring drills. I'd still expect a redshirt, with Brown, Williams, and Smith rotating through the safety spots.

Past 2009, Emilien's got a clear path to playing time once Brown departs; he's rated on par with Williams, below Smith, and above everyone else at safety, and he's got a 3.8 GPA. I prefer my safeties with a grasp of geometry, thanks. OSU's early and continued, if intermittent, pursuit of Emilien is a good sign, too; despite having a ton of DBs committing they still made it clear he was wanted. Or made it sort of clear. Eh.


Emilien's commit is big in three different ways:

  1. He's a highly rated safety, and Michigan needs safeties.
  2. His commit makes it more likely Justin Turner can stick at corner.
  3. FL CB Josh Robinson might be more interested in coming north with his teammate already committed.

Michigan is probably done at safety but will take a commit from someone like MS S Dennis Thames if he decides on M; the big focus now is corner and offensive line.

We may get some news on that soon. Emilien's teammate, FL CB Josh Robinson, is deciding next week between UCF, USF, and Michigan. It's been the long held assumption of Anonymous that Robinson is staying close to home, but a couple recent premium articles were encouraging; we'll see.

Oh, and by the way, we've got some LOLSU re: nickname:

Originally Posted by buckeye4ever21 View Post

It's acctually Vlad Guerrero's nickname, but it sounds like a way better nickname for a ball hawking safety.

Wow. I always wondered where the name "Vlad the Impaler" came from. Who knew it was from a Major League Baseball player?

At least we've still got our sense of superiority, folks. Treasure it.

Etc.: Post-commit interview.



November 24th, 2008 at 2:00 PM ^

Morning after OSU weekend is a good time to commit if you have it in for OSU, which is what Sam Webb said this morning about Vlad. Apparently OSU was hot and heavy after Vlad, then cooled down when he had an ACL. That's when Michigan got into the mix.


November 24th, 2008 at 2:47 PM ^

CB Josh Hunter, a 6-2, 175 pounder from Charlotte, is currently committed to UNC, but says he's still open to other schools (which raises the question of whether or not he knows the definition of "committed"). He's still going to visit Michigan.


November 24th, 2008 at 2:49 PM ^

I had reconstructive knee surgery October 14 1998 after tearing my ACL, MCL and LCL and meniscus and was released to play baseball the following February. I had to wear a brace, and it was only high school baseball, but still, an athlete with a work ethic and nothing else to do but focus on rehab can come back pretty fast from even the very bad injuries.


November 24th, 2008 at 3:20 PM ^


Any chance you could add a section to the recruiting board just for the early enrollees? I know you already identify them with EE, but it'd be nice to see who is coming in January.

Also, when do they submit paperwork or does the University announce when a kid is officially enrolled? Is that sometime in December? Can they do it in January? Anyone know?


November 24th, 2008 at 5:07 PM ^

I think that would be more confusing than clarifying, so not so much. As far as early enrollees, they can enroll at their school whenever, and we'll know because their names will pop up in Wolverine Access. I don't know if Michigan will announce it or not. We'll see guys trickle in through mid December into mid January.


November 24th, 2008 at 5:42 PM ^

They probably can't announce it because they will not have signed their LOI and so would still be considered recruits (which the school is not allowed to discuss). However, I would imagine we'll see articles in the Freep and AANews that people have enrolled in school.


November 24th, 2008 at 8:47 PM ^

This probably reveals more about my posting habits at Buckeye Planet than is healthy for a Michigan fan, but the second comment, the "Who knew it was from a Major League Baseball player?" is posted in the sarcasm font, which is actually enabled by typing [sarcasm][/sarcasm] in your post.

So we're all set to make fun of "buckeye4ever21", but then again, so is the second quoted poster.