DB situation in 2009 and beyond

Submitted by Jorel on September 25th, 2008 at 11:57 AM

How does everybody feel about Michigan's situation at DB and,
specifically at CB, in 2009 and beyond?  We lose Trent, Harrison, Doug
Dutch and Charles Stewart.  That will leave Michigan with the following
in 2009

CBs - Warren (Jr), Cissoko (So), Wollfolk (So)

S - Brown (Sr), Chambers (Jr), Michael Williams (So), Branden Smith (So)

Unclear if CB or S - JT FLoyd (R Fr),  Justin Turner (Fr)

or may not be a DB - James Rogers (Jr) is probably a WR, DeWayne Peace
(Fr) is probably a CB, Justin Feagin (R Fr) is looking more and more
like a DB, Mike Jones (Fr) and Isaiah Bell (Fr) - at least one of which
is probably an OLB.

So, what I'm getting at is this: is anybody else worried about CB in 2009 and 2010?

I know Michigan lists Turner at CB, but it seems both recruiting sites see him as a safety - reasonable for a guy his size.  Peace may end up being stellar at CB.  If Peace, Turner and Floyd all end up as good corners, maybe we're ok, but isn't it just as possible that only one of those guys ends up being a good corner?

Besides the starters (Cissoko and Warren), who will provide depth in 2009?

If Warren leaves after his junior year, who will start opposite Cissoko in 2010?

Sky isn;t falling or anything, but this seems like an area to address in recruiting this year.


M - Flightsci

September 25th, 2008 at 12:43 PM ^

We keep hearing about Warren being on the Woodson-blazed leave-early path to glory but I don't see it. Warren is not the same athlete Woodson was and he needs to be a more sure tackler. I don't see him leaving after 3.


September 25th, 2008 at 12:55 PM ^

I agree that we still need some help at DB but I think Rodriguez is trying to get a couple more in this class. I also think we may get a five star safety out of florida (can't think of his name off the top of my head) who would then likely start his true freshman year in 2010. M-flight, totally agree with your assesment but I could also see him putting together a great junior campaign and jumping to the NFL. He gets a lot of pub and was a freshman all american.

chitownblue (not verified)

September 25th, 2008 at 1:02 PM ^

Which is why we are still listed among the leaders for:

**** CB Branden Smith

**** CB Travis Hawkins

***CB Mike Edwards

****ATH Dennis Thames, who we're recruiting at "DB" (considering he's 5'7", he sounds like CB)


September 25th, 2008 at 1:47 PM ^

Haven't heard much about Branden Smith or Mike Edwards in a long time.  Maybe I've missed something.

Sam Webb seems to think we're working uphill for Hawkins and that his visit will need to be a good one.

I've heard Thames discussed as a Safety.  To be clear: I'm not worried about bodies at Safety with Brown, Chambers, Williams, Brandon Smith, potentially Floyd and Turner, and at least one of Bell and Jones, plus maybe Thomas Gordon.

And to respond to a question above (below?): Marvin Robinson is a 2010 Safety prospect widely believed to be a 5-star type guy who has Michigan among his leaders.


September 25th, 2008 at 1:29 PM ^

I agree that we need to focus on DB's a little more for the rest of this year and for next year, but I think we'll be OK. DB is an area Michigan rarely has trouble recruiting, maybe because of all the sick DB's in the NFL from UM (Chuck, Ty Law, Leon Hall, Marlin, Cato June was a DB here). Either way, we seem to get at least one 5 star or near it every year, with a little added depth too. I see your point, but I'm not concerned.


September 25th, 2008 at 4:49 PM ^

I think it'll be okay as well, but to say Michigan rarely has trouble recruiting DBs ignores recent history. Off the top of my head, Jai Eugene, Myron Rolle, Victor Harris, Taylor Mays, Eugene Clifford, Justin King and Ronald Johnson were some high profile kids we couldn't pull in (a couple might have been stretches, but we had a shot at all of them). There were also some other slightly lower ranked recruits like Dionte Allen, Darrin Walls, and AJ Wallace. There were also some good pickups over that time period, but for a while the secondary's future was looking kinda bleak.

chitownblue (not verified)

September 25th, 2008 at 5:30 PM ^

Also, Deion Sanders, Champ Bailey, Al Harris, Ed Reed, and Bob Sanders didn't attend Michigan.

Listing a who's who of huge CB prospects and saying "they didn't attend Michigan, so we recruited poorly", when we DID land Warren, Hall, Prescott Burgess, Ryan Mundy, Steve Brown, and a cadre of other highly-ranked players is sort of...cherry-picking.


September 25th, 2008 at 6:01 PM ^

Yeah, I don't think Michigan is or isn;t good at recruiting DBs.  Nor do I think it's relevant.

When I look at the CB recruiting in the last two classes plus this one, I see two five stars (great recruiting) and little else (an assortment of three stars, 'athletes', position switches and tweeners) that inspires as much confidence as, say, a consistent parade of four star recruits with a five star here and there.

Again, the sky isn't falling, but it seems like a position of need that I think kinda' gets overlooked given the sheer quantity of 'DBs' that we have gotten the last few years.


September 29th, 2008 at 12:52 PM ^

That wasn't a list of who's who of DBs. It was a list of guys we offered, guys who had interest in us, guys we failed to land over the span of a few years (years where DB was one of the big recruiting concerns). I didn't expect to sign the majority of them, but to miss on all was a disappointment. I never said "we recruited poorly," I would call it average, but I think we could have done better. Still, I admitted there were some good pickups. All I was trying to do was temper WolvinLA's outlook: "we seem to get at least one 5 star or near it every year, with a little added depth too." Like I said, we'll be fine, but no one should expect a top 50 type DB every year.

Three of the guys you brought up (Hall, Burgess and Mundy) were part of the good 2003 class. 2004 and 2005 were the leanest years, in 2006 it picked up again somewhat (Mouton and Brown, though they were both safeties and we could have used a "shutdown corner" or two). 2007 is the year that got us back on track (several good players, including Warren right after we discovered we were out of it for RoJo). So yes, for a few years I was a little concerned with the DB recruiting, and so were others I spoke to.


September 26th, 2008 at 8:59 AM ^

Woolfolk will be a junior in 2009. He didn't redshirt.

Anyway, I am also concerned about the cornerback position for 2009 and 2010. We don't have a lot of depth, and most of the safeties we're bringing in are strictly safeties (Jones, Smith, Bell, etc.). Even Feagin is probably a FS if he switches to DB, according to what I've heard.

Another reason I'm concerned is that I don't think Cissoko will be a great cornerback. He'll be okay, but not great. I would guess that Troy Woolfolk would start in 2010. It's a good thing we'll have a few talented safeties with a couple years of experience by then (Smith, Chambers, Williams).


September 26th, 2008 at 9:38 PM ^

DB recruiting is and always has been an issue. As of right now we look pretty good at S but some may move to LB. And there is always a need for more CB especially with the way college football is being played offensively nowadays.

Hopefully we can land Marvin Robinson next year, I presume we lead but don't know if he is a "lock" as was once thought. As for corner who do we have a realistic shot at besides Mywan Jackson?


September 27th, 2008 at 1:35 AM ^

I think it's difficult to stockpile corners.  First of all, true shutdown corners are hard to find.  But since cornerback is such an individual position - independent of most other players on the field - kids can go anywhere and still make it to the NFL.  Success for a RB depends on the offensive line and passing game.  Success for a QB depends on his OL and receivers.  Success for a LB often requires a decent DL.  But if you can cover a guy in man coverage, you can cover a guy in man coverage.  And if you can tackle a WR/RB in open space, you can tackle a WR/RB in open space.  That's not to say that it's an easy position to evaluate, but good cornerbacks come from all kinds of random schools (Mike Jenkins, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Aqib Talib, Leodis McKelvin all came from non-powerhouse schools).