Davion Rogers, ex-Wolverine

Davion Rogers, ex-Wolverine

September 18, 2010
Davion Rogers

Freshman linebacker Davion Rogers has left the football program.  He was a 3-star recruit from Warren, OH.  The reason for his departure hasn’t been officially released, but he had some NCAA Clearinghouse issues when trying to qualify for Michigan and rumor is that he never fully qualified.  Rogers was on campus and practicing with the team, but he had not played yet this season.

You can read my commitment post here, but Rogers was not expected to contribute to the team this season.  He’s 6’6″ and about 200 lbs., so he had a lot of physical development left before he could contribute at the college level.  However, he is an excellent athlete who would have been an asset to the team in the coming years.

This is the fifth Wolverine to depart since fall practices began.  He’s also the fifth member of the Class of 2010 who has failed to reach October of freshman year.  My frustration with Rich Rodriguez’s inability to recruit and retain players has been well documented on this blog, and this is yet another potential nail in the coffin for Michigan’s defense in the coming two or three years.  Freshmen littered the two-deep at Michigan already, and that trend will continue in the coming years due to all these transfers/non-qualifiers.  Rodriguez has offered veiled complaints about the lack of defensive depth left by the Lloyd Carr regime, but no less than 11 defensive recruits signed during Rodriguez’s tenure (Class of 2008 through Class of 2010) have already departed.  That means 31.4% (11/35) of defensive recruits brought in during that time have already left.

My unofficial calculations suggest that Michigan’s 2011 recruiting class will have room for approximately 22 players (10 unused scholarships, 12 departing seniors).  For a reference point, a few months ago the class size was supposed to be 14 or 15.  You might think that Michigan’s defense has been bad over the past couple seasons, but help won’t be on the way anytime soon if Michigan keeps hemorrhaging recruits.


  1. Comments: 21381
    Sep 19, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    Minor quibble: I think the responsibility for the '08 class is shared Carr:Rodriguez :. In particular, I believe Witherspoon (who was an administrative casualty of some type) was one of Lloyd's guys. No snake oil there.

    Quibble aside, I very much agree that there's ample evidence of buffoonery with the recruiting practices of Rodriguez. He's not working with a big margin.

  2. Comments: 21381
    Sep 19, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    thats a lotta xfers..

  3. Comments: 21381
    Sep 19, 2010 at 6:24 PM

    Michigan's defense 2 years from now is in the coffin already? I suppose you did say "potentially"…

    I agree the situation is frustrating, this is a ridiculous number to lose from one class. However, the defense seems to be trending upward to me.

    RR seems to be in a can't win situation here. Given the lack of success of the last 2 years and the dire need for bodies he was put into a situation where he had to take Vinopals (lesser talents) or Rogers (risks, either in terms of productivity of qualifying) when Parkers (4/5 stars) turn him down. RR is killed by the fanbase in either case, but for now it seems that the Vinopal/Ryan route is working out better. IMO the path RR chose – some reliable contributors mixed with some long shots that might be stars was the right course of action.

    All that said, it doesn't explain taking Co.Jones and Austin White who seemed like questionable additions to an offense that isn't hurting too badly for depth.

  4. Comments: 21381
    Sep 19, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    @ Lankownia

    I don't really agree that Michigan's defense is trending upward. Michigan's defense is bad. It's currently ranked #100 in the country, if I'm not mistaken. We just got done giving up 535 yards to Notre Dame sans their starting QB for half the game, and then we gave up 439 yards and 37 points to an FCS team.

    Regardless, we seem to agree on the main point – that Rodriguez needs to retain more players on the defensive side of the ball, and more players overall.

  5. Comments: 21381
    Sep 20, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    If you look at the results from the last few years to this year, I'd agree we're headed for the "coffin", but based on the youth of the current defense, the promising play of several underclassmen, and the development of a few impact players, its reasonable to think 2011 will be better than 2010.

    Ignoring the circumstance involved and predicting doom for the future based solely on results seems extreme, IMO. Agree the D is bad, but we knew that already.

  6. Comments: 21381
    Sep 21, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    @ Lankownia 3:38 p.m.

    I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but if you look at next year…

    Senior James Rogers will likely be replaced by a senior coming off injury (Woolfolk).

    Senior Jonas Mouton will likely be replaced by ??? (Mike Jones?).

    Senior Obi Ezeh will likely be replaced by ??? (Kenny Demens?).

    Senior Greg Banks will likely be replaced by a sophomore (Jibreel Black).

    And while everyone else will be a year older, the backups will be a bunch of freshmen, redshirt freshmen, or slightly experienced sophomores.

    I'm not saying there isn't any hope at all. But…there's not much.

  7. Comments: 21381
    Sep 21, 2010 at 9:20 PM

    You're right that its very premature to access next year, but looking at personnel its hard to not to expect improvement.

    1. The DL will be better and more experienced.

    If, as I expect, Roh moves full-time to DE next year, that gives you two seniors and a junior on the line. Each guy will be a 3rd year starter. The line, per snap played, will be more experienced. Even if Roh stays at LB, I'm not sure Black and Campbell in '11 won't be an upgrade to Banks/Sagesse in '10 despite their relative inexperience. Bangassee only plays half the snaps anyway and wasn't a returning starter headed into '10 either. The experience is equivalent to Campbell's in '11 – so not a big loss. DL depth will be thinner and younger (obviously, all the backups are seniors now) but the talent level should be higher.

    2. The secondary will be better.

    Everyone will be a year older across the board, including Gordon/Johnson at the hybrid. Considering the backups right now are true freshman (at every position!), experience can't be worse next year. You aren't going to argue Woolfolk (your #2 player in the preseason list) is a downgrade to Rogers suddenly are you? A full year to recover should be plenty for a 21 year old kid.

    3. The linebackers will be…not much worse?

    Linebacker is where the personnel might decline. Mouton/Ezeh will be significant losses, and Roh too if he's moved to DL. (Though if he's not, we're talking about just 2 positions.)

    That said, there are many bodies at LB and I wouldn't expect an enormous drop off from the departing seniors, who lets face it, have been far from awesome.

    Herron, Jones, Leach are all getting some playing time already – The coaches have some confidence in them (mostly at OLB, but still…) Fitzgerald and or Demens will be in their 4th year on campus and might be serviceable. Perhaps between the 2010 and 2011 recruiting classes someone can step up as well (Furman?). We can also expect some position swapping, as the coaches seem to have no reservations in that regard…so maybe a secondary or hybrid player bulks up to Mouton's spot (MRob?) and another guy downshifts to MLB/WLB.

    …Not saying things will be great at LB, but they aren't now either.

    For the small downgrade at LB we should see a massive increase in the level of experience along the DL and Secondary. Thats reason enough to be optimistic.

    You named 4 guys (one of which is a senior for a senior).

  8. Comments: 21381
    Sep 22, 2010 at 1:06 AM

    @ Lankownia 5:20 p.m.

    1. I don't think Roh will move to DE full-time, at least not unless we move back to a 4-man line.

    2. The secondary MIGHT be better. We've been saying for years that the secondary will be better, and it hasn't happened. It's gotten worse.

    3. Maybe it's just me, but I never expect much improvement for a guy from his junior year to his senior year. Guys at those ages have improved about as much as they're going to at that level of competition. If Demens or Fitzgerald isn't good by now, I don't know if they'll ever be spectacular. They might be serviceable, and there's still a small chance that they'll be awesome. But the biggest year of improvement is from freshman year to sophomore year (Denard Robinson, for example).

    Now, you might get a guy who's been buried on the bench who bursts out. But if a guy's been playing a fair amount, usually he doesn't seem to break out as a fourth-year or fifth-year player. He's usually still the same guy.

    Like I said, I'm going to take a wait-and-see approach on Michigan's defense. It's been bad for several years, and nothing more than "hope" suggests it will improve.

  9. Comments: 21381
    Sep 22, 2010 at 4:03 AM

    1. You could be right about, but either way the DL should be better. Campbell/Black as JR/So should be on par with Sagesse/Banks as SRs. Roh/Martin will be better, and thats the big thing.

    If Roh stays at LB, that just makes that situation a little better. Whether its Campbell, Black, Jones, or Herron that get their playing time increased in '11, I feel pretty optimistic it'll be an improvement to Sagesse, Banks, and a younger version of the above.

    2. We've been saying the secondary will be better but keep getting decimated by injuries and defections. Warren/Cissoko/Woolfolk/Turner weren't the killer 2010 secondary we envisioned a year or more back. I suspect things will settle down in this regard, if only by virtue of regressing to the mean.

    3. Junior to Senior improvement isn't rare. Some quality guys make a leap to greatness (Perry/Graham) while others, as you say, just become serviceable. I think we can reasonably expect Demens/Fitzgerald to be similar to Banks/Sagesse given their recruting hype and the depth chart.

    If you're going to assume a big improvement from FR to SO year, you can look at all the true freshman playing on D (Johnson, Robinson, Christian, Black) and slot them in as quality players. You can even be generous and include Cam Gordon in the list since its his first year on D.

    I think a lot of guys improve more between their sophomore and junior years. I'm not sure its an issue where a generalization really applies, but I wouldn't argue the point strongly either way.


    A wait-and-see approach sounds like a good plan…but thats far different from the "last nail in the coffin" perspective you threw out there before.

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