Cissoko Recruitment

Submitted by Ziff72 on September 28th, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Remember the good old days when Cissoko was locking down guys at the Army combine as a Junior and we salivated at his video as he broke on balls and gave WR's no room?? The scouts raved about his technique and quickness and how they couldn't even complete a pass and they had to pull him out of drills. Now every arm chair coach wants to bury this guy after 2 bad games and all Ihear about is how bad his technique is. I think this switch shows 2 things in my book.

1. I need to stop getting caught up in recruiting hype while it is fun to dream the up/down variance is ridiculous, I need to dial it down.

2. I think Cissoko is hurt worse than we know and is trying to gut it out or he's just so frustrated his attitude is spiraling because his body language and hustle yesterday were horrid. I still have faith in him, but I have never wanted a player I liked to be hurt more.



September 28th, 2009 at 2:18 PM ^

At the end of the day, many sophs aren't ready for the field. Unfortunately, with depth as it is, we're expecting a lot more from Cissoko (that, and because of his lofty recruiting rankings).

Hopefully he buckles it up and makes some improvement this year and hits his stride next. It's hardly unheard of for a junior/senior to hit potential after struggling as an underclassmen.


September 28th, 2009 at 4:15 PM ^

At many positions, it's rare for sophomores to make an impact, but cornerback is an exception. It's pretty normal for sophomores and even freshmen to see a lot of playing time at that position - if they're good enough. The list of players who have seen significant action at CB at this school as underclassmen at this school is a long one. Cissoko's simply got to get it together.


September 29th, 2009 at 9:57 AM ^

"It's hardly unheard of for a junior/senior to hit potential after struggling as an underclassmen."

Case in point; anybody remember rumblings last year about Donovan Warren having some struggles, and not living up to potential? Now he's a Junior, and doing so well, people are worried he may jump into the NFL Draft this spring. Let's get off BooBoo's back. He's a talented player. Maybe not the tallest corner, which does present some coverage challenges, but he'll OK.


September 29th, 2009 at 11:00 AM ^

The fact that Warren had a so-so year last year (when he was playing hurt) and is playing well now does not necessarily mean that Cissoko will do likewise. Warren had a very impressive true freshman year and was projected for stardom thereafter. Cissoko played sparingly as a freshman and was a question mark going into this season. Now he is apparently injured, so it's not fair to write him off altogether - but to date he hasn't shown anywhere near the level of coverage ability Warren did as a freshman (let alone this year). It's not unheard-of for a Cb to blossom as an upperclassman (Jeremy LeSueur did) but it doesn't happen all the time.


September 28th, 2009 at 2:19 PM ^

I don't think that you should ever really call the kids head ever. I loved sitting by the people who are like "pull tate jesus what a terrible decision".

He's a freshman. He will make terrible decisions sometimes and he will continue to make them. That is what happens when you have young guys playing all over the place they will make mistakes and lots of them but they will also learn from them.


September 28th, 2009 at 2:21 PM ^

I know that recruiting rankings are important and yada yada, but the recruitment of Everybody Murders a year ago really turned me off to the direction that college recruiting has taken. These kids are just that, KIDS. Yes, they have a ton of athletic potential, but the majority of these highly regarded recruits are being put on a pedestal before they accomplish anything, turning them into prima donnas and/or putting too much pressure on them to live up to often unrealistic expectations. I hate that. Its the same reason that I support a rookie pay scale in all major professional sports.


September 28th, 2009 at 2:22 PM ^

Did you see him in study hall or something? Was he a little slow to the milk line at dinner?

I've never wanted a defensive back to shut down a wide receiver more just so the lemming-like criticism of a player, who is injured, and still within his first month as a shut-down-on-an-island cornerback can stop, just for a minute.

Honestly, the team is 4-0. Everyone needs to quit looking for stuff to bitch about. It's a pipe dream, yes, but if this team were to go 12-0 while winning every game 38-30, who the fuck would whine about that?

Thanks, I'll hang up and listen.

This isn't a gripe at you Ziff, it just seems like the entire MGoUniverse has decided to pile on Cissoko and annoint him a terrible player, as if we have any idea what is going on with the guy, or if he's had a fair, honest, season's worth of material for us to critique.

While this all goes on, Stevie Brown waits silently for the Wolverine fanbase's acknowledgment that he was playing out of position for 2 years thanks to the previous coaching staff, and is actually a rather good player.


September 28th, 2009 at 2:27 PM ^

It just seems like we are doing the chicken little thing. What bad thing is going to happen next.

Christ can't we just look at the season and say "ya know what we weren't supposed to be good but somehow we are 4-0... Let's just be happy and sing kum-by-ya" (yes I spelled that wrong don't care)

Blue in Yarmouth

September 28th, 2009 at 2:36 PM ^

I am in agreement with some of what you said here. I think Brown has been much improved and I have voiced that whenever the D is discussed. In my mind he is one of the biggest surprises of the team this year.

I also agree that it is unfair to pile on Cissoko the way people have but at the same time it isn't really unexpected under the circumstances. I thought it was very unfair after the ND game given small sample size and the fact that he was up against Floyd and Tate. Now, however, I am thinking perhaps that he is just overmatched at this level. He was playing average WR's at best last weekend and got burned a couple of times again until he was pulled. Floyd came in a did a better job covering them than he did. I am not saying that is deserving of the response by some fans, but taking him out of the game was certainly justified.

I will continue to root for him as long as he is a Wolverine, but my expectations for his future have declined somewhat given his performance. I hope I am wrong and will be the first to admit it if I am. He seems like a great kid and I hope he picks it up in the near future.


September 28th, 2009 at 2:36 PM ^

you seem ultra-defensive. fact is that cissoko has been getting beat all season. maybe he is hurt more than we know/understand. i don't personally "look for stuff to bitch about," but i think it is legitimate for us to question and point out the real weaknesses of our team. not sure if cissoko is a terrible player, but he is having a terrible season so far.


September 28th, 2009 at 2:43 PM ^


Not getting beat, and getting an INT, in one half against Western Michigan.

Yes, getting beaten against Notre Dame, this ground has been well-worn.

Getting beaten on, I believe, one throw that was dropped in the end zone, and being called on a ridiculous PI against Eastern.

Getting beaten on one long pass against Indiana (And maybe failing on outside contain on the opening TD, although Kovacs lined the team up wrong) and then getting benched.

All season, according to my math, is about 2 3/4 games, of which 1 1/2 of those games he was not beaten at all for a tangible catch.

I hope to God Boubacar doesn't read this blog. How would we all feel if we later found out his confidence is shot because MGoFanbase decided he sucked after 150 minutes of football?


September 28th, 2009 at 2:52 PM ^

maybe not beat all season, but he certainly looks out of place quite a bit, and has a certain deer in the headlights look at times. and i'm not ragging on him, i hope he turns it around and starts playin ball!
but...if his confidence is shot just cuz mgoblog got on to him, then he'll never make it anyways...


September 28th, 2009 at 3:02 PM ^

JG - I understand what you're saying about just enjoying the fact that the team is 4-0 and people looking for stuff to complain about, but I think some people are pointing out flaws because there is another side to the fanbase that says "wooo! we're 4-0! We should be ranked higher... We can win the Big ten..." This team is very lucky to be 4-0 and is still probably heading for a difficult Big Ten season. I don't think there's anything wrong with pointing out the flaws on this team that are evident. Some of the people on this board attempt to keep some objectivity even though they're huge Michigan fans.

I sense I might be heading for a neg-bang, but I just think there is a counter-argument to those who think we should all just blind ourselves to the team's problems because they're 4-0. I am still enjoying this team and this season a great deal.

On the main issue of this board post, BooBoo has been frustrating, but I still think he can come back and have a strong season. He is still adjusting to being the starter.


September 28th, 2009 at 3:52 PM ^

I agree with you completely. Reminds me a lot of people throwing Warren under the bus last year. Not necessarily on here, but I heard tons of comments at the stadium about how terrible Donovan was, blah, blah, blah, etcetera.

We come to find out before this season that he was playing hurt all year and that was a major part of his struggles. We don't know everything that goes on with these kids. I think there's a lot of things that need to be dialed back, but recruiting hype is 1A on my list.


September 28th, 2009 at 2:29 PM ^

who plays opposite Warren, so long as they don't get beat at will on the deep ball by opponents, or get trucked 8 yards down field on a 2 yard bubble screen.

whoever shores up their weak areas sooner, more power to them.


September 28th, 2009 at 2:52 PM ^

After 4 games - some which were against mediocre opposing teams - he got burned and burned often. The consistency of bad play is what frustrates me. And the freshman argument doesn't hold - look at Roh, Tate, and Denard. Yes they make mistakes, but i have not seen either one of them have 4 bad games.


September 28th, 2009 at 2:37 PM ^

I've kind of been down on Cissoko since he was recruited. Not that he shouldn't have been offered, but I thought he was overhyped by a lot of Michigan fans and overrated by the recruiting services.

He didn't make a lot of big plays in high school and he doesn't have great size. And while he's very agile coming out of his breaks, he doesn't seem to have great makeup speed.

This doesn't mean that he can't become a productive player. But as a freshman and sophomore, I think he's been in a little over his head. I'm not saying "I told you so" because, like I said, he still has 2+ years remaining in college and, who knows, he could end up doing some great things.


September 28th, 2009 at 2:47 PM ^

He's only a sophomore. Ideally, it would have been great for him to have another year in nickel before starting. But, depth.

When I was complaining about him on Saturday, a friend I was watching the game with reminded me that Ty Law strugled (also undersized) his first couple years before breaking out his Jr. year. Here's hoping.


September 28th, 2009 at 3:01 PM ^

Why don't they try woolfolk at corner, and put cissoko over at saftey maybe even floyd. I keep hearing how fast woolfolk is suppose to be and speed seems to be a problem with the corners not named warren. I know these guys haven't practiced at these spots but how much worse can it get. These guys keep getting torched.


September 28th, 2009 at 3:08 PM ^

if Turner gets his chance to play this year as a freshman. If he puts up and performs better than Cissoko then i think we have part of the answer - its likely a talent issue. If the argument is that this guy needs time in the system then by all accounts his freshman counterparts should be doing much, much worse. Perhaps we'll find out soon.


September 28th, 2009 at 3:20 PM ^

Cissoko is far from Michigan's only problem, especially on defense--if there is any reason to not pile on him, it's that. Frankly, if it weren't for Forcier and somewhat Carlos Brown, they wouldn't be 4-0. You don't have to "look" for problems with Michigan this year because several are GLARING, but, at the same time--sure, Michigan is also giving us a LOT to be proud of. It's highly unrealistic to expect Michigan or any other fans not to complain or point out problems with a team, though, especially when you're a fan of a team with Michigan's history. It's not the case that just because you point out problems, you're not grateful for what Michigan has accomplished so far--it's hard to know that if Michigan's defense was better, they could probably win the Big Ten this year...even with a freshman quarterback. After last year, seeing Michigan win the Big Ten would be amazing, and who doesn't want that feeling?


September 29th, 2009 at 11:16 AM ^

Cissoko's injury is to his shoulder. The injury might affect his tackling or perhaps his ability to get his arm up to knock down a ball.

It shouldn't affect his ability to cover a receiver too much.