How was Cullen not fast enough to play CB?

Submitted by iawolve on April 25th, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Sorry for the delay due to the holiday, but I saw a blurb on Rivals where "multiple sources" noted that CC was not fast enough to play CB. It simply was not going to work out for him here. Yes, the guy struggled last year, but he was a freshman. He also had my least favorite Michigan secondary coach giving him guidance as well so I considered last year a mulligan.

However, not being fast enough should have shown up somewhere else along the way to this year. Not like the kid was not in camps or All-Star games, I was really surprised by the comment. Was this something that was broadly known and I simply missed it? Would appreciate some insight considering this is the third secondary recruit we have signed to the team and lost via transfer who was not fast enough.



April 25th, 2011 at 1:51 PM ^

We have no idea how good a db coach Gibson is or isn't.   All fan bases think some position coach at a team's weak point is some horrible coach that has been planted by rival teams to bring the program down.  

Do you remember the venom directed at Andy Moeller before Lloyd left? 

 We've seen this at Michigan for the last 10 years.  The Rivals and Insiders of the world always feed the fans ire with this bs about so and so position coach.   Obviously, some coaches have to be better than others,  but I think all this reporting of incompetent position coaches is garbage.


April 25th, 2011 at 2:00 PM ^

Uh, yes, we have a pretty good idea of how good of a coach Gibson is. Look at the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Michigan defenses. Worst in school history. Gibson and Tall were the only constants in that three-year period.

Tall gets a slight pass since he was a safeties coach coaching the defensive line.

Gibson? Please.


April 25th, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

Football is football.  If you've been coaching for 28 years, I don't think changing position responsibilities from safety to linebacker or to defensive line is that big of an issue.  I probably wouldn't want a random dude coaching the quarterbacks, but that's the most important position on the field and requires some very specific skills and knowledge.


April 25th, 2011 at 2:59 PM ^

I think you are right on.  QB is kind of a specialist thing, but most of these guys have had several different jobs and coached on both sides of the ball.

Can you imagine the internet meltdown back when Bo was coach when he installed G. Moeller over to O coordinator when his previous experience was being a D coordinator?

So we don't give Tall any credit for the improvement of Graham, RVB  and Martin over their careers, but we blame him for Campbell, Patterson and Banks under achieving and the defense on the whole sucking even though he never coordinated it.   That makes perfect sense now. Got it.

Crazy Canuck

April 25th, 2011 at 7:29 PM ^

I agree with you and Magnus. QBs, goalies and pitchers should have specific coaches. Everybody else needs a coach that understands that sport. Coach Carr played qb in his playing days, but coached dbs and was a DC in college.


April 25th, 2011 at 2:50 PM ^

Didn't one of those coaches turn R. Mundy into an NFL player after he completely tanked here at Michigan?

Contrary to popular opinion these guys aren't teaching some mystical Michigan technique.  All the coaches learn from each other and steal what works best so the techniques being taught and the drills used are all pretty much the same with a few variations. 

The biggest thing in coaching is getting your point across.   Some are better than others but the real key is to find kids that like the way you teach.  Some people learn in differnt ways.  Some learn better watching it, some learn better while doing it.  The key is to reach them.  Coaches for the most part are only as good as how much the kids fit their coaching style or their ability to adapt if it's not working.


April 25th, 2011 at 2:59 PM ^

I'm not sure if it was Tall or Gibson.  Tall was the "safeties coach" and Gibson was the "secondary coach" from everything that I found, so I'm not sure which one had the responsibility of working with Mundy the most.


April 25th, 2011 at 12:44 PM ^

He also had my least favorite Michigan secondary coach giving him guidance as well

Just out of curiousity, who is your second least-favorite secondary coach?


April 25th, 2011 at 2:05 PM ^

Honestly, I thought Braithwaite did a pretty good job with what he had.  Cameron Gordon was a pretty bad safety, but he never should have played that position, anyway.  Vinopal did okay, and Kovacs was pretty good.  It could have been a good deal worse.

Magnum P.I.

April 25th, 2011 at 3:27 PM ^

Not meant as snark, but I don't understand how a guy who is so slow that he is physically incapable of playing the position in college could be rated as a four-star at that position by the recruiting sites. It doesn't matter how good of "ball skills" you have if you lack the necessary baseline physical qualities for the position. 


April 25th, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

I'm rooting for the kid, and hope he puts it all together at Pitt.

But to your post, it is interesting that he could be so highly rated as a CB when speed and tackling ability were known liabilities coming in.  By his own admission:

"I want to improve my speed. That’s the main thing and I also want to make more of an impact when I hit. I need to be more physical when I tackle.” - Scout

Rivals also noted his speed and hitting were in question:

"Needs Improvement: Needs to improve his speed, which will help him to recover when beaten on a route. Christian will also need to add some muscle mass and strength, which will help him make solo tackles in the open field ."

He looked the part of a tall cover corner, though.  And he has ability, just don't think enough to cover his lack of physical play - especially with GMAT.


April 25th, 2011 at 11:30 PM ^

CC lacked the speed to play corner and apparently lacked the toughness or desire to compete that the new regime requires.  I hate to see a 4* CB and the only Top 100 and U.S. Army representative from that class (I think) leave, but he seemed to have an "entitlement" mentality.  Better to get rid of bad apples sooner rather than later.  His comments on the way out prevent me from rooting for him...

West Texas Blue

April 25th, 2011 at 12:49 PM ^

From ESPN's evaluation:

"The only asset Christian is missing is great speed. He has coveted size, quickness, fluidity and savvy as a D-I corner prospect."   I always thought he was ticketed for safety, but I guess he didn't want to switch positions or there were other factors in play that influenced his transfer.


April 25th, 2011 at 12:54 PM ^

There's always a chance.  But following coaches is nothing new.  They committed to play for Gibson, Magee, and Dews, all of whom are at Pitt now.  In addition, Vinopal is only a little over an hour from home, and Cullen Christian is back at home - with one of his best friends from high school, Brandon Ifill.


April 25th, 2011 at 1:33 PM ^

Can we at least all agree that  Ifill, Christian and Vinopal will all turn out to be All Big East perfromers and will amazingly look much faster while at Pitt?

Ryan Mundy's play at WV and then making the NFL  was one of the more shocking things I've seen in recent years.


April 25th, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

There were questions about his speed from Day 1.  They were brought up by virtually every analyst out there.

Also, he tackles like Deion Sanders.


April 25th, 2011 at 1:07 PM ^

This is my first time posting on the blog, and I have really enjoyed logging in countless times over the past year to read all of your threads.

For the past two years I have lived in Cleveland, Ohio because of my employment...I am originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Due to my location, the local newspaper I see laying around offices, buildings, etc is the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

In looking at the Sports page today, I found it interesting that they posted a feature called, "Big Ten Strong."  This little piece focuses on how in the past decade, the Big Ten has seen one of its defensive lineman taken in the first round every year, but never more then two...

Notice the list of names/years they include:

2010: Jared Odrick, Penn State, No. 28

2009: Aaron Maybin, Penn State, No 11

2008: Vernon Gholston, Ohio State, No 6

No need to go any further to make my point...Brandon Graham, Michigan was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 2010 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles yet the Cleveland  Plain Dealer chose to put Jared Odrick at pick No. 28 in the article as the BT's Dline man from that class....Interesting.


April 25th, 2011 at 1:08 PM ^

Too slow, can't tackle....yup let's offer him a full ride scholarship to the winningest football program in history.   


What did the coaches even see in this player.  Height?  Were they that desperate for a tall corner?   


April 25th, 2011 at 1:16 PM ^

The coaching staff saw the same stuff in him that all of the recruiting services saw, as well as the coaches of a bunch of top-flight teams (including Ohio State*).

Besides, even if there were some red flags, I'm not sure how much you can blame the coaches for taking a 'flyer' on a consensus 4-star corner when we desperately, desparately, DESPARATELY needed corners.

*Okay, maybe this is the wrong day to rely on the judgment of Ohio State coaches... but you get my drift.