Vlad Emilien Interview

Submitted by TomVH on October 30th, 2008 at 1:55 AM

Tom VanHaaren interviews FL S Vlad Emilien, who visited last weekend.

We're starting to get down to crunch time with the recruiting process, and Michigan has a need at safety. Vlad Emilien is a hard hitting safety from, you guessed it, Florida. There's been a lot of hype about the 6' 1" safety despite a torn his ACL. The injury might have sidelined him for this season, but it hasn't changed his goal of playing for a big time college program.


TOM:How was your trip to Michigan this weekend?

VLAD: It was pretty good, I really enjoyed it. Everybody asked how I compared it to Wisconsin, and I like Wisconsin and Michigan the same. I try to put pros and cons about each of them, and there’s no leader yet. Both schools have strong coach to player relationships, which is what I really like.

TOM:Who was your player host? Did you get along with him?

VLAD:Brandon Smith and Kenny Demens. They’re good freshman, we got along real well. They’re young, and they were telling me how competitive it really is. Everybody gets a chance to play, no matter how old.

TOM:Do you have a top 3?

VLAD:If I had to name a leader today it’s Wisconsin and Michigan.

TOM:What do you think will be the deciding factor?

VLAD:Just how the school is academic wise, and atmosphere wise. How I feel around the team and players. I like the little details of the schools. I’m trying to look at the things that would be beneficial after 4 years.

TOM: I read that you have a 3.8 GPA, so academics must be important to you. How will that play in?

VLAD: Yea I’ve been weighing the pros and cons again. Michigan has a very good business school, and Wisconsin has a good school too. Those schools ranked very high in the country. It hasn’t been hard in that aspect, because either way I’ll have a good degree from a good school.

TOM:On your visit, did the coaches talk about early playing time? Is that important to you?

VLAD:It’s very important. I’m always going to have to battle, I love competition. But I like that there’s a better opportunity to play early and battle out freshman rather than juniors or seniors at Michigan. I’m going to be pretty smart about the depth charts and deciding.

TOM:How many more visits are you planning?

VLAD:I plan to visit Stanford November 16th, and I’m still scheduling the Ohio State vs. Michigan Game, I still haven’t officially done it yet.

TOM:What happened with Ohio State? Does it bother you?

VLAD:They just started talking to me the last couple months. There was a misunderstanding with the recruiting. They were trying to take in two safeties, because of a mishap with one of their safeties. I’m very interested. I felt kind of like I was the second choice, but business is business. I would love a chance to go that school. It just didn’t happen the way I wanted to happen, I just have to move on from that.

TOM:When do you think you’ll make your decision public?

VLAD:I’m going to make it public November 23rd. I’m not sure where yet.

TOM:Wherever you go, do you plan on graduating early?

VLAD:Yes I do. I want to get to college as soon as possible.

TOM:You missed this year with a torn ACL, are you excited to get back out there? Have any of the schools shown concern about the injury?

VLAD:I’m just training right now. It’s very exciting, the thought of getting back out there. I didn’t have a chance to prove to these colleges and recruiting sites that I should have been an all American. They’re not concerned, because I’m going to play spring ball, and I’m very anxious to get out there.

TOM:So what are your strengths, and what are your weaknesses?

VLAD:My personality is a strength. I am like an extra coach on the field, very vocal, and try to be a leader.One of my weaknesses is I’ve been working on my tackling, and getting my technique better. I want to be more of a dynamic player. I still have a lot to learn. When I learn what’s needed for college, I’ll be an explosive player. I want to learn as much as I can right away.

TOM:Have you analyzed what defense you think you would fit into the best?

VLAD:I focus on everything; I like a two back safety type of defense. I can play anything as long as they let me roam, and just make plays.

TOM:Was there a dream school growing up that you always wanted to go to?

VLAD:University of Miami. As I got older I realized that’s not going to be the right place. I didn’t even really have a dream school that much; I just focused on doing the best I can, so everybody considered me the best.

TOM:Now that you’ve had the chance to see all these schools recruiting you, how do you make sure you make the right decision?

VLAD:I feel like I’m going to follow my gut. This is a very important decision, it’s my future. I’m looking at what school will help me be the kind of person I want to be. A lot of the schools offer the same thing, so I’m trying to weigh the options.

TOM:Was there one thing about any school that has really stuck out to you? Something that you still think about?

VLAD:There are a lot of similarities, both Michigan and Wisconsin coaches treat their players like their sons. I think that’s what stuck out the most, I really like that.


chitownblue (not verified)

October 30th, 2008 at 8:17 AM ^

If academics are a priority to him (and with his gpa, it sounds like they are) Wisconsin and Michigan make sense - they're both really good schools - but then why was he into OSU?

The Squid

October 30th, 2008 at 3:02 PM ^

Right, no disagreement that if academics are your only priority and your choices are UM, UW and OSU, then OSU is definitely in 3rd place. I'm just pointing out that compared to the entire population of major football schools, OSU isn't a bad academic school. IOW, if academics were a priority and you were choosing from a broad pool of schools, you wouldn't automatically exclude OSU, as a lot of people might suggest.

chitownblue (not verified)

October 30th, 2008 at 9:16 AM ^

I think they stopped pushing him as hard, and he, as a result, soured. He sounds sort of embittered with them.

It seems like it was situation similar with us and our QB's - they offered a few Safeties, and when they got two, going to OSU as a safety became less appealing (and, I imagine, their inclination to take a 3rd dropped). They got one guy, Wood, who is the #1 safety recruit in the nation and the 29th ranked player in the country, and a second recruit who is a mid-4-star type, roughly equivalent to Emilien.


October 30th, 2008 at 10:16 AM ^

Let's hope both of your DB's that you interviewed this week and that happen to be announcing soon, pick Michigan. We will take 1 today and Vlad on the 23rd! :-)


October 30th, 2008 at 10:47 AM ^

Dude what is Vlad talking about..."both Michigan and Wisconsin coaches treat their players like their sons. I think that’s what stuck out the most, I really like that".

Doesn't he know we don't have any family values?"


October 30th, 2008 at 11:48 AM ^

But we could very well dominate "All-Name Recruiting."

Step up, Vladimir, Fitzgerald and Shavodrick are waiting for you. Oh, and Martavious says hi.

I love it.

M - Flightsci

October 30th, 2008 at 11:54 AM ^

OSU has been moving up in the academic rankings... I believe they're in the 60-70's range, nationally. They can't compete with U of M football players since Zoltan tutored everyone into the business school, but in Columbus, every B- is worth 1k from a booster


October 31st, 2008 at 9:32 AM ^

But "academics" does not necessarily = "academic reputation."

A kid can be legitimately interested in academics, but not choose the school ranked the highest in the US New World & Report. Might be looking for a specific program, or certain kinds of academic advisors (support system), etc. Now, obviously, I think UM is still at the top with most any factor, but I'm just saying, not all recruits (or even HS students considering college) equate "academics" with "academic reputation per major publications."