More proof from Ray Vinopal

Submitted by itself on December 7th, 2009 at 11:49 PM

Proof that recruits - and their families - read what we write about them from our very own TOMVH:

Ray Vinopal - "I read what people say about me, I'm going to work my a** off to prove everyone of them wrong. I'm not scared."

In this case it serves as motivation, but in the bigger picture do we really attract players if they see the fan base tearing into recruits before they even step on the field?



Sam Webb addressed the issue at the end of his recruiting round up today. Good bit about the atmosphere of Cardinal Mooney football. Worth a listen. Nothing much else, UM making up ground with Ash and Hankins. Webb parrots Hankins saying the opening at Louisville may mean a move by Florida's D Coordinator, which could influence Hankins decision.



December 8th, 2009 at 2:22 AM ^


Welcome aboard, Ray, although feel free to ignore my welcome since the other comments seem to fuel the competitive fire. =)

More generally, here's the thing though. People need to keep in mind that it's not just the kids who might read message boards, but the kids' parents.

These kids are competitors, and most will brush it off or, like Ray, use it as motivation.

But man, these kids have moms that might be reading this stuff.

Keep that in mind while posting. And I'm not even thinking of it from a standpoint of, "Well, if someone talks shit about a kid and his mom sees it, it will hurt our chances of landing him." I'm thinking about it from a standpoint of common courtesy. Almost all of the people on this board wouldn't walk up to a recruit's mom on the street and talk shit about her son, so, why is it okay here?

And yes, it's fair to evaluate talent/performance. That's part of sports. But there's a way to do it and a way not to and I think we all can figure out where the line is.


December 8th, 2009 at 9:24 AM ^

"I think that (me being able to criticize although I haven't spent one minute in pads or sweating in the weight room with the rest of the team) just comes with the territory of (when an 18 or 19 year old kid commits the next 4 years of his life to play for and honor the institution that I "root" for.)"

IMO, these boards aren't for ripping kids you know nothing about. We want our coach and our players to act honorable and make the university proud, but yet we come on here and stamp our feet like spoiled children and make fools of ourselves because the team had a bad year.

Some of our fans are a disgrace.

Bando Calrissian

December 8th, 2009 at 9:34 AM ^

If we "know nothing about" recruits, then why are we allowed to sit around here and praise them all day, too?

Personally, I don't follow recruiting, and have always found adult males who fawn over 17 year old kids who should otherwise be orchestrating their prom dates to be a little awkward. I understand, however, why people do get interested in it. I just think it's a two-way street. We shouldn't have to blow sunshine all the time about these kids.

Captain Obvious

December 7th, 2009 at 11:54 PM ^

we're on the INTERNET. It's hidden, right?

I mean, if I committed to play college sports, the last place I'd look for information on my school of choice would be the internet. Or the largest sports blog.

Dark Blue

December 7th, 2009 at 11:57 PM ^

Brian should post this on the front page. It is so ridiculous to me, that we would ever say anything bad about some kid who just committed to come play football at the greatest university in the world. I understand we all get pissed with our football program being down, but Ray and every recruit that comes in could be a piece of a new Michigan tradition.


December 8th, 2009 at 7:58 AM ^

I agree with the general sentiment of the OP, and have long been one of those that say that fans who boo at college games for example. are losers that should be doused with any liquid that is handy.

But having said that, most of the "negative" posts were criticizing the coaches for accepting a commitment from a 2* recruit when we were still being considered by a couple of 4* safeties, and the criticism was that we would run out of space for more highly rated players by taking this commitment. That has nothing to do with Vinopal (Ray, welcome, wish you all the best!) and more to do with recruiting strategy. I think the criticism here is overblown.


December 8th, 2009 at 1:49 PM ^

if he read this blog that night, that there was criticism of him implicit in it. Of course. I was making a distinction though between criticism of a personal nature (that guy sucks) and criticism that was directed at the coaches ("why isn't ____ playing more, he's better than ___?") they both are implicit criticisms, but one IMO is something any public figure or athlete, even a kid, has to accept, and the other is out of line.


December 8th, 2009 at 12:44 AM ^

brian already posted something about him on the front page:

"but recruiting rankings are meaningful things and a Brandent Englemon is a best-case scenario here."

...based on his comments, its possible that he didn't even look at the message board, just brian's article on the front page.

fwiw - i disagree with that prediction.

Dark Blue

December 8th, 2009 at 12:59 AM ^

but I didnt understand what you were trying to say. I read what Brian wrote about him. All I was saying is Brian needs to post something to the effect of "Fellow Mgouser please do not speak negatively about incoming commits" Even if they only read the front page. 18 year old kids probably don't need to be slandered online.


December 7th, 2009 at 11:57 PM ^

It is always good to have someone with that kind of work ethic. So many "star athletes" just don't have the willpower to get out there and work as hard as they can to get a starting spot. I say sign him up if he is willing to prove himself.


December 8th, 2009 at 12:02 AM ^

I'm pumped we got this kid.

As I said in a different post, he is a true safety with great ball skills, good instincts, great quickness, sure tackler and looks like one tough and mean SOB.

He'll be an awesome addition to the team!

Dan Man

December 8th, 2009 at 12:03 AM ^

There were some people bashing him here, but I did think that the majority of posts were supportive/positive. Unfortunately, he may not have an account and be able to see that the negative posts were mostly getting negged.


December 8th, 2009 at 12:15 AM ^

Yes there were some people totally overreacting to his ratings. If a person isn't happy with RichRod's recruiting, that's fine, criticize RichRod. Some people (that is, morons) were crossing the line and bashing the recruits themselves. Fortunately most of them were getting negged pretty good.

Magnum P.I.

December 8th, 2009 at 12:06 AM ^

am excited about Ray. With the way our program culture is so shaken right now, we need as many proven winners as we can get. I'll take a guy who has that heart and leadership (plus obvious physical gifts).


December 8th, 2009 at 12:10 AM ^

Always good to hear comments like this from our recruits (Dileo too) but I'm sure the Grimes package, Sean Parker, Hankins and Big Tex would all play just as hard.

No matter how this class ends up I have faith that RR's staff will make it work on both sides of the ball. He did it before and he'll do it again.


December 8th, 2009 at 12:10 AM ^

Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but is there indication that MGoBlog members are the people he's referring to? I thought Brian linked to the ESPN scouting report during his commitment post, which wasn't exactly gushing about him as a D1 prospect, so I expect he's not short on detractors.

Either way, looking forward to cheering for this kid for the next few years. And if Ray does happen to read the blog and is looking for more motivation: You suck, Ray.


December 8th, 2009 at 12:22 AM ^

Congratulations on the Michigan scholarship; go get a great degree that will help you significantly in your life after football. Since you happen to be a true safety with nice ball skills, excellent leadership and a championship pedigree feel free to impart the various lessons you have learned (particularly in terms of coverage and pursuit angles) to others on the team with whom you will come in contact.

As far as people bashing an 18 year old recruit because he lacks "a star" on a recruiting site, well, those people are in the minority and not worth too much of your attention. As an aside, also feel free to ignore anyone who brings up comments about chianti and brie on game day...just refer them to clarkie's section since that's where they all sit anyway.

Congratulations on saving your parents about $150 000 so please feel free to pay the school back with 4 Big Ten titles, at least 2 National Championships and maybe a Heisman for's not like defensive players haven't done it around here before so expectations of the same are pretty reasonable.

Best of luck Ray Vinopal.


December 8th, 2009 at 8:18 AM ^

I think people are confusing 2 different kinds of posters. The posters who wonder if he's big enough because of data on his height and weight, or fast enough because of his fake 40 time, or even his skill level because of his offer list, these are all things that people should be able to speculate about because they do matter. Ray knows this. I'm sure at many points in his young football career he has heard that he was too small or slow.

On the other hand, there is no place on blogs and message boards for people who say things like "fuck ray vinopal, we don't want him, hes sucks" or "he'll never amount to anything, i hope as soon as we get more recruits we'll drop him". yeah, those people are assholes.

EDIT: Chianti and brie on any other day besides gamedays is fine though, right? Cuz both are pretty good.


December 8th, 2009 at 12:43 AM ^

I love this kid's attitude. That alone makes me happy he's on the team. A great work ethic and desire to succeed can be contagious.

Also, where are all of the folks speaking poorly of Ray? I'd like to personally make sure that none of them are able to step foot into Michigan Stadium to cheer on the Maize and Blue as long as Ray is still on the team.


December 8th, 2009 at 12:48 AM ^

Here's a website with Vinopal's relay team's results. I was curious after he apparently mentioned it in an interview.

Vinopal ran the first leg of the 4x100. Braylon Heard, the WV RB commit (Heard's a 4* on rivals, 3* on scout, listed at 4.4 40 on both), ran second. They won the Ohio state championship with a 42.67 total time.

I'd be curious to hear what people who've run track have to say about what you can tell from where people run in a relay (do you put your fastest last to run anchor, and your second-fastest to start out?) and if there's reason to speculate wildly about Vinopal's running first. My impression is that you want to get a good start, so you don't put your slowest person there, but who knows what their coach did.

I guess the bottom line is that Vinopal is fast enough to run on the state champion 4x100 relay team. And that's pretty good.

Who knows if this is apples to apples, what with possibilities of handtiming and wind and track conditions and such, but Denard Robinson, Adrian Witty, and two others in the 4x100 relay at the 4A championships in Florida ran a 40.64, which, jeebus.


December 8th, 2009 at 7:43 AM ^

42.67 is good but not Earth shattering (40.64 is... yes, I agree... jeebus).

It is common to put your fastest leg last and your second fastest first, but there are lots of other factors. Your first leg is the only one to come out of block, so if you have a runner with an exceptional start, you might put him there even if he isn't one of your fastest. The first leg (and third) are on turns, but the second and fourth are on straightaways, so if a runner is good on the turn, you might put him first or third.

Bottom line... if his team won a state title, all four are fast. Its hard to say just HOW fast from what you presented, however, Vinopal no doubt has some open 100m times we might look at.

Maize and Blue…

December 8th, 2009 at 9:32 AM ^

That time is not exceptionally fast, but we don't know what the conditions were so it is hard to tell. My 4x100 finished fifth in the state and I ran anchor on all three relays. I don't know if I was the fastest in the 4x100 or 4X200, but I hated to lose the most. Our major consideration for our leadoff man was his start out of the blocks. Second leg was usually the weakest.
Cassius McDowell was the third person on DRob's relay team and is currently a senior RB/Slot. The fourth was a kid last name Dotson who I don't believe plays football and the 40.64 was the fastest in the nation last year.


December 8th, 2009 at 1:06 PM ^

The anchor will always be the fastest, in my experience the 2nd leg has always been your weakest link. I would say the 1st leg edges out the 3rd leg just a bit, but it's splitting hairs in those regards. One also has to note that a tactic at time employed is to place your smaller guys on the edges (1st and 3rd leg) since they have less of a stride to really take advantage of on the straight aways. You can’t put much stock in ones individual time though during a relay since time can be cut or added during the exchanges.