A Thought on the Peace Decommitment

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on January 8th, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Aside from the usual "well forget him if he doesn't want to be here"/"I didn't like him anyway"/"he's only three stars" typical responses, I think this story sheds some light on a large problem area for the team - at least in the opnion of the coaches.

Peace has, largely, been a WR in his HS career. During summer camps, he impressed lots of people - Michigan included - with his receiving ability but also his play as a defensive back. Michigan offered him thinking he could do either - play WR OR CB. Throughout the process, Peace made his desire to play WR pretty clear, and Michigan went along with it.

Now, we hear that the primary reason for his decommitment was because Michigan now really wanted him to play CB, not WR. Clearly, if Michigan was still recruiting Je'Ron Stokes and Travante Stallworth at WR, they were not overly enamored with his ability to play WR. So, as a WR, losing him is likely not a tremendous blow.

However, lets look and see what's happening elsewhere:

-*****Dre Kirkpatrick isn't coming.
-****Jayron Hosley has publicly stated that he really doesn't want to live in the cold-weather.
-***Demontre Hurst doesn't want to visit as long as we don't have a DC.
-***Mike Edwards goes to Glenville, who hates us.
-***Mywan Jackson, pretty much committing to UNC today.
-**Adrian Witty is a two star (yeah, I know Pat White, David Harris, blahblahblah - most 2-stars don't become anything), and seems like he's largely contingent on us getting Denard Robinson, anyway.

So, that's EVERYONE we have offers out on (per Rivals). So it seems like Michigan's desire to have Peace play CB in an act of desperation - he was the last line of defense (barring snake-oil) between us and a two-star/unrated guy. Clearly, given the number of CB's we've pursued, the staff sees CB as a need, and their attempt to convert Peace speaks further of that need.

So, I don't see this as losing a WR, which doesn't matter, because we have plenty. I see this as losing a CB - a position of need, no matter how you slice it.

Comments

Glen Masons Hot Wife

January 8th, 2009 at 1:19 PM ^

I think people are a little over-freaked on CB "need". D-Warren, Boo-Boo and Justin Turner is a very promising set. They're young, but I'm encouraged with everything I've seen and heard.

I am hell of a lot more worried about QB and LB.

Ziff72

January 8th, 2009 at 1:37 PM ^

If Warren goes pro that would be agood thing because that would mean he really stepped up next year. Turner is a CB. We definitely need guys , but I'm sure Rodriquez has it as a point of emphasis for 10 after missing out on the top guys and with hoprfully an improving record a stud DC and an open depth chart we should do just that.

Magnus

January 8th, 2009 at 1:24 PM ^

We have...

Donovan Warren
Boubacar Cissoko
Justin Turner
Troy Woolfolk
JT Floyd

That's it. And none of our incoming safeties are likely to be able to move to corner.

As far as solutions on the current team, James Rogers has played corner before.

I really think we'll either get a corner commit like Whitty or we'll flip a corner before Signing Day. Maybe Dale Peterman. I think we'll get some depth, but we need to get a stud corner in 2010, in my opinion.

Ziff72

January 8th, 2009 at 1:26 PM ^

Well then it doesn't look like we get anybody. I think this is just the ups and downs of college football. Year before we were short on OL we got 6. Last year we needed LB we got 4(then lost 2) This year we needed QB and CB. Look for heavy CB flavor in 2010. In the meantime we have Boo Boo and DW and Woolfolk, Turner and Floyd. Barring injury we should be good at CB next year.

Hello Lo Wood and Dior Mathis.....

Ghost_Of_Bo

January 8th, 2009 at 1:32 PM ^

On a relative basis, corners are some of the least-injured players in football. You basically need four of them, plus at least one guy who can play nickel. Boo-Boo, Warren and Turner are all four-star guys -- so perhaps we're one short.

What's interesting to me about Peace is that we still have relatively few WRs in this class. If you believe (as I do) that Cameron Gordon will end up at LB, and everyone else is a slot, we're left with Stonum/Matthews as our only legit outside receivers.

I don't want to say that we intentionally let Peace decommit, but why wouldn't we at least give him a try at WR when we're actually much thinner at WR than we are at CB?

My (vaugely optimistic) conclusions are: 1) We feel good about signing Stokes and/or Stallworth; 2) We probably feel decent about another CB who's not on the Rivals board; 3) We didn't believe that Peace could make a meaningful impact at WR, a position that was very thing.

I believe RR when he says that we'll fill the class at 25 -- and if you figure that, at best, we'll get another OL, another QB, and perhaps a middle LB, positions #24 and #25 will almost certainly be going to WR/RB.

Jivas

January 8th, 2009 at 1:36 PM ^

J.R. Hemingway is also an outside receiver, in addition to Mathews and Stonum, and there are 2010 reinforcements on the way.

I do agree with the sentiment that CB is an area of need, but not one that I'm totally flipping out on; 2010 looks promising there. If we strike out in 2010, *then* I'll be flipping out abour our need at CB.

Magnus

January 8th, 2009 at 1:37 PM ^

We're done at running back unless Bryce Brown wants to come to Michigan.

We have other outside wide receivers: Mathews, Stonum, Clemons, Hemingway, Savoy, and Roundtree is a possibility (they told him he was a slot when he came in, but he practiced at outside receiver, too).

wlvrine

January 8th, 2009 at 1:38 PM ^

Every defensive recruit we lose upsets me. I know we have some good commits on the D line. But we need players who can cover the field. Anyone with potential to play LB, CB, or S is likely to get a shot at early playing time.

AC1997

January 8th, 2009 at 1:44 PM ^

I disagree that we're thin at WR, as Ghost_of_Bo says.

Outside WR:
-- Matthews
-- Stonum
-- Hemmingway
-- Savoy
-- Roundtree

Slot WR:
-- Odoms
-- Robinson
-- Gallon
-- Clemons
-- Feagin

You also have James Rogers who could be a CB or a WR. My guess is that Gordon at least gets a shot at WR before moving to LB. That's 10+ guys for 3 positions. Then you have the 2010 class with Miller and Jackson. I think they'll sign a project in this class.

On the other side of the coin, I think we are thin at CB. I'm not worried next year but I think you need lots of depth at that position to fill out spread formations and special teams.

At CB we have Warren, Woolfolk, Floyd, Cissoko, and maybe Rogers. I think Turner will be a CB. But that's ~5 people for 2-3 positions on the field. Not good. I think they need to sign someone here.

bsb2002

January 8th, 2009 at 1:54 PM ^

deperate is waaaaaaay too strong a word

we could use another corner. it's not the end of the world if we don't get another in this class. let alone peace.

slack jawed yokel

January 8th, 2009 at 2:18 PM ^

...all will be well! REMAIN CALM DAMMIT!
I think they liked Peace a lot in the summer, but were not that enamored as time went on. And so they let him go. If you KNOW a player wants to play a specific position, and you tell them before they get to campus you need them where they dont want to go, you are basically inviting them to leave (it is honest also)! Dewayne Peace was of the level of Jordan Barnes, and what we saw was a similar scenario. I think it would be fair to say some things might have changed since his in home visit (realization that there are better players who are interested).
In sum, I love this recruiting class. Really impressed with the guys they have, and we all know RichRod closes strong.

Huss

January 8th, 2009 at 2:40 PM ^

are all fantastic players, but two of them are still completely unproven and Warren may be in his last year with the program. If we come up empty this year, that could leave us in a disastrous situation when guys like Woolfolk and Floyd end up playing meaningful snaps. Look, they might be good - but if they're not(which is probable), we're completely screwed.

On the bright side, there are a ton of FL cornerbacks showing lots of interest in us in 2010, but that is totally irrelevant for now. We're going to shit bricks at corner if the snake oil doesn't start flowing.

MH20

January 8th, 2009 at 5:54 PM ^

I love Donovan, but I would be shocked if he left after his junior season. I was really impressed w/ him as a freshman, but injuries and ineffectiveness plagued him last season. He'd have to have a MONSTER junior campaign, IMO, for him to even consider going to the pros.

Here's hoping he has a MONSTER year and stays for a MONSTER senior season.

Six Zero

January 8th, 2009 at 2:59 PM ^

well I know a guy who knows a guy who talked to a guy at a gas station in Ann Arbor who heard a rumor from a janitor in Schemblecher that Pearlie Graves is one of those hybrid DT/CB types. That kid is mad versatile.

...

ChiTown's right to be concerned about the thin ranks at corner, but we can't just WISH everyone to be able to play other positions... sheesh. If that were the case I could've gotten Brandon Graham to set the single season school passing TD record last year.

WolverBean

January 8th, 2009 at 3:37 PM ^

but perhaps RR (or the staff in general) saw this as, a player who's insistent on playing at a particular position above the recommendations of his coaches may be a headache to coach for other reasons, and is in any case showing a greater commitment to himself than to the team. I know Rodriguez has made comments in the past about being most interested in having players who just plain want to play (something about passion, not just talent, being important -- I don't remember the exact quote). Perhaps he just didn't see that in Peace? (Again, this is all pure speculation.)

Either way, I'd rather have the coaching staff be honest about their desire to play him at CB and him decommit now than have them lure him here with promises at WR, try to convert him after a year, and see him transfer. With all the talk of snake oiling recruits to come here, I'm glad to see evidence that RR also plays it straight with the kids he's after.

k bizzle

January 8th, 2009 at 4:24 PM ^

to see who is coming. There is still time left to get guys at positions of need and I really think RR will be able to do so. Then we will be able to exmamine how the class mturns out.

ChalmersE

January 8th, 2009 at 4:39 PM ^

It occurs to me that some of the decommitments may be due to RR and the staff being honest. It would have been the easiest thing to tell Peace that he can be a corner, but the reality was that if he insisted on being a receiver, he'd be way down the depth chart. Instead, they may have been truthful and said unless you're willing to play D, you're going to be red-shirted and even then, you may not play much. I'd rather someone not come at all, than come, use a scholarship, and be unhappy the whole time.

cfaller96

January 8th, 2009 at 5:59 PM ^

Sometimes corners are put on an island (provided they're good enough to maintain coverage by their lonesome), but most teams don't have Woodson and PrimeTime to lock receivers down. Good safeties are thus needed to help the corners out on the deeper stuff.

That in turn can put a lot of emphasis on having good athletes at safety. But conversely, if your safety play isn't good enough to help out the corners, then a coach might think about flipping back to putting emphasis on corner play. When you don't have the athletes you need everywhere, you start to play the percentages and hope for the best.

I speculate the safeties are driving the coaches to think cornerback is a need. I think it's safe to say that Michigan doesn't have good safety play right now, and the near future doesn't look promising. So while it might not look like Michigan "needs" corners, the duo of Stevie Brown and a freshman(?) at safety might make the coaches put a lot more emphasis on good athletes at CB, even if it means flipping a guy who wants to be a WR.

BleedingBlue

January 8th, 2009 at 7:03 PM ^

We're not gonna need a defense once the offense starts putting up 60 points a game! no worries!

ok - so I'm worried about corner, but think we will be 'fine' if get a couple studs in next years class and miss out on blue chippers in this class. obviously we would all love a surprise commitment from a slightly shirtless guy this year, but we'll be ok.

And I think we are loaded at WR if you include JJ and Ricardo - no room for peace in there when we need a CB

Blue Balls

January 8th, 2009 at 7:23 PM ^

He might bring a few players with him to Michigan. -only a thought. Will be intresting to see just how this unfolds-a little snake oil here could go along way.

I_Heart_A2

January 8th, 2009 at 7:48 PM ^

Mercifully, I'm drawing blanks on large portions of last season, but I do recall repeatedly thinking, "Dang, Cissoko is gonna be the man eventually." I bet a little more Barwis, some more drilling and a nice healthy Warren makes for some great corner play this year.

Does popular opinion hold that Turner will be seeing a lot of play?

funkywolve

January 9th, 2009 at 1:39 AM ^

Interesting thread and a lot of good posts. For the people who say corner is a position where you don't need a lot of guys cause injuries are fairly rare, I'll definitely agree on the injury part.

Now, you may not need a ton of guys, but you sure as heck hope the guys who see the field are solid players. That's a huge question mark for most of the corners that are looking to see the field next year - Warren, Cissoko, Turner, Wolfolk and Floyd.

Turner has never played college ball. Floyd and Wolfolk barely saw the field last year. Warren and Cissoko both showed glimpses that they could be solid players. Warren seemed to have a better freshmen year then sophomore year so hopefully we'll see some improvement out of him.

So whether the number of corners at UM is thin might be debatable, I guessing there's not to much debate that there's a lack of experience in playing time and even more so at solid, quality play for 60 minutes on saturdays at the CB position.

The catch is, in this day and age your nickel back is going to see the field a lot. This isn't some guy who's only going to be on the field for a few snaps each game. Depending on who you play, your dime back could very well be on the field a lot too.

While 5 corners might not be that thin in some people's opinion at the CB position, I don't think it can be assumed that all 5 are going to be solid players should the need arise for them to step on the field on saturdays. For that reason, i think getting another corner or two would be huge.

The above paragraph kind of transitions into something that I think needs to happen at UM for the defense to become really good again - there needs to be constant competition week in and week out for playing time and starting positions. It's not going to happen overnight. It'll take a couple/few recruiting classes to get there.

By no means do I mean to pick on Stevie Brown, but you just can't have someone week in and week out making mistakes that turn into big plays. You gotta have depth at positions so even if Brown does look really good in practice, he's got to perform on the field. If not, someone else gets a chance to not make those mistakes on saturdays. (As an aside - did anyone else notice how often the Florida safeties were there to help on the mid to long range passes down the field?)

blueman

January 10th, 2009 at 1:00 PM ^

A CB can move to safety but a almost all pure safties cannot move to corner. One's a hammer the other is a stileto. UM's safety play has been subpar to awful for nearly a decade. With SB being the leading returning safety, this position is incredibly weak.

With 7 decommits this year, UM has to have set a new NCAA record for decommits in a single year. Whatever the reasons, it does not look good and you can bet that it is being used to portray UM negatively by our friendly recruiting competitors.