DB recruiting question

Submitted by UMfan21 on September 22nd, 2010 at 12:33 PM

We know how badly UofM needs DBs over the next few years.  One of the popular sports cliches I hear about DBs when they drop an interception is "that's why the play on defense".
  So, I was just wondering, how well do WRs translate to the defensive side of the ball?  I know we have a few former WRs in the defensive backfield, but I was curious if there would be any benefit to recruit WRs as DBs over the long term.

I would assume the cliche is over simplified (I'm guessing DBs probably need to be more explosive for the "react" part.  They probably need to be more physical to initiate contact, etc).  But, our WRs are pretty physical in their own right.

If the difference between a WR and a DB is truly how good their hands are, then wouldn't it benefit us to recruit WRs as DBs? Just something I was curious about.  Our coaches seem to be good evaluators of WR character/talent and I just thought if we could bottle that, and simply flip them to the other side of the ball, maybe it would make us better off?



September 22nd, 2010 at 12:36 PM ^

DB's have to have the flexibility in the hips to turn and react. WR don't always need that, especially if they are straight line burners. Obviously it would help to have flexible hips to run better routes. I think the knock on Rogers at CB was that he didn't have the flexibility to play the position well. So far he has held his own.


September 22nd, 2010 at 12:37 PM ^

DBs must have "good hips" in order to change directions quickly and great footwork in order to be able to react and make plays on the ball.  Being physical helps at jamming receivers at the line and also finishing tackles.  Having good hands is a bonus.  Instints and film study help in reading plays.  A lot of high school kids play WR and DB so that helps in knowing routes and tendencies but they are completely different positions.

Frank Drebin

September 22nd, 2010 at 4:28 PM ^

He was at Arizona, not Kansas and it appears he didn't last long.

DeWayne Peace transferring from Arizona
Posted on June 30, 2010 by Gary Randazzo
Redshirt freshman DeWayne Peace is transferring from the University of Arizona, according to Wildcat Sports Report football editor Chris Bonney. Bonney says that Peace will transfer to Blinn College in his home state of Texas.

Peace was expected to contend for playing time as a cornerback in Arizona’s secondary this upcoming season. You can read Peace’s profile at the official Arizona Athletics website.

This is from GOAZCATS.com


September 22nd, 2010 at 12:41 PM ^

Outside of "good hips" (stated above), I would also say playing defense vs. offense is a totally different mentality.  One of the things I keep hearing about Cam Gordon from various reports is that he seems to have the mentality necessary to play defense, being a big hitter and having a knack for always being around the ball (I have also heard this about Carvin Johnson).


September 22nd, 2010 at 12:46 PM ^

I think a big difference between a DB and WR is that you can almost never "switch-off" or go-slow - like you can when you are a WR and the play is not designed to come your way. At a DB position - or defense in general - the team is only as good as the weakest link - so as a DB, and especially as a Safety, you always need to be on ON mode - always on attack. Perhaps that is the reason why defenses tire a lot quickly than offenses do.

On offense, 1-2 extraodinarily gifted skill players can cover a lot of shortcomings in others - not so in defense - the weaknesses of everyone is always in displayed in plain sight.


September 22nd, 2010 at 12:53 PM ^

isn't that if a WR can't catch, he'll be a good DB, but rather that if DB's COULD catch, they'd make stellar WR. You have to be MORE athletic, in many cases, to be a DB. Charles Woodson has good enough hands to be at least a #2 WR, and he always has. But because he's so fluid, aware, and quick to react, he's way more valuable on the defensive side of the ball.

oriental andrew

September 22nd, 2010 at 1:14 PM ^

What I didn't realize about Woodson (even overlapping with him in school for 3 years) was that he was one of the top TB's in the nation and everyone, except Michigan, recruited him on offense.  Also that LC originally asked him sophomore year if he wanted to play some RB.  Woodson replied that he wanted to play offense, but at WR and not RB.  

Or maybe I did know that from one of the many features on him in the Daily, but didn't remember it.  

I love you, Big Ten Icons.  


September 22nd, 2010 at 2:06 PM ^

is that he started every game after the 2nd game his freshman year.   As a true freshman he led the team in interceptions, two against Ohio State (the Biakabutuka game) where he kept Terry Glenn in check, on his way to being named Big Ten Freshman of the year.

His brilliance from the very start of his collegiate career provides an interesting contrast to where we find ourselves today.   While one might say that reflects poorly on current personnel, I think it's more accurate to view Charles as an anomaly, a truly once-in-a-generation athlete.  

For what he did at Michigan on the gridiron and for the many things both on and off the field he continues to do today, I am very proud that he wore the maize and blue.

So check out the Woodson Icons segment on BTN;  I highly recommend it.

New Carr

September 22nd, 2010 at 1:32 PM ^

All the physical attributes and distinctions between the two positions have been touched upon in this thread already.  An analogy I would add is public speaking.

A good wide reciever is like a guy who can stand up and deliver a good presentation that he has prepped for.

A good corner is like a guy who can field questions on the fly at a press conference.


September 22nd, 2010 at 2:14 PM ^

We have 10 freshman DB's on the roster and have already picked up two commits for next year.  We just need to wait for Christian, Johnson, Robinson, Gordon, etc. to get more experience and continue to improve.