D.J. Williamson, ex-Wolverine

D.J. Williamson, ex-Wolverine

May 24, 2011
D.J. Williamson

It seems that wide receiver D.J. Williamson has left the football program.  Though there has been no official announcement, he no longer appears on the roster, and there were rumors all spring that he had decided to transfer.  Williamson was a class of 2010 player who redshirted as a true freshman.  Rivals ranked him as a 3-star and the #53 player in the state of Ohio.  Scout ranked him as a 2-star and the #165 wide receiver in the country.  Other than straight-line speed, Williamson didn’t seem to offer much as a player; furthermore, there were rumors that he dropped a lot of passes in practice and turned the coaches off with his unreliability.

This leaves the Wolverines with 11 wideouts on the 2011 roster but only 7 remaining for 2012.  I can’t help but wonder why the new coaching staff turned away class of 2011 receiver Devin Lucien, who would have been a Wolverine if the coaches hadn’t him to play defensive back instead.

Check out other departed Wolverines in the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia.


  1. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    I'm a little surprised that more UM fans are not expressing any concern about UM's future at WR. Perhaps fans are still fatigued by RR's love affair with the position?

    There will not be a single proven "elite" WR of the 7 on the roster in 2012 and only 4 of them are 6 feet or taller. In addition, I think there is a very real possiblilty that TRob will not be back in 2012 and that Gallon might transfer. If that were the case we would only have 5 WR's.

    I think the staff really needs to take 2 WR's in the 2012 class and we have to hope that they are both good/elite because we could be seriously screwed in the near future.

  2. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    @ Anonymous 8:31 a.m.

    I would not be surprised if there's a little bit of a perception that Michigan has more depth at the WR position than they actually do. Unfortunately, Conway didn't qualify, we turned Lucien away, and now Williamson is transferring, so the numbers went from pretty good to very low.

    However, wide receiver is one of the positions that players can come in and contribute very early. With the departure of Williamson, Michigan needs at least one and probably two in this class. But if Morris ends up as highly rated as many people think he will be, I would expect that some 2013 receivers will hop on board to play with him. Hopefully the coaches can reel in at least one guy in 2012 who can make an early impact.

  3. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Lucien again? Get over it man.

    Reasons to not recruit Lucien in Jan/Feb:
    A. At the time that had at least a dozen WR on the roster. Way too many.
    B. Other positions had a great need.
    C. The coaching staff wasn't impressed by Lucien.

    Reasons to not sweat it now:
    A. 7 is still plenty for next season.
    B. They can better sell playing time to elite WR recruits
    C. see C above
    D. Whatever WR recruit they get in 2012 will be a better player and a better fit. That scholarship would have been used for an inferior player if Lucien was offered.
    E. We still have plenty of WR this year.

    Nothing against the Williamson or Lucien, but I think most fans are happy to have the free scholarship at the moment.


  4. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    @ Lankownia 10:01 a.m.

    It doesn't matter if other positions had a great need. We had 1 or 2 open scholarships in the 2011 class, and they went unfilled. Of the four "receivers" we brought in back in 2010, Jerald Robinson and Drew Dileo are still around; Ricardo Miller is an H-back; Williamson is gone. Lucien could have redshirted in 2011 and been ready to play in 2012.

    If you look at the roster for 2012, I think it's tough to see a solid receiving corps. Roundtree and Stokes will both be seniors, but Stokes hasn't done anything so far.

    You and I obviously differ on how good Lucien is, so we'll just have to see how he develops at UCLA.

    Regardless, I think you're seeing a shift from fans being glad to have a free scholarship…to now regretting that we don't have more receivers. It wasn't unexpected that one (or more) of Rodriguez's slot dots might transfer. And next year Michigan might be in a somewhat precarious position. When you put four receivers on the field at times, seven guys on the roster isn't very many.

    We'll see.

  5. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    RE: 5 WR in 2012

    First of all, this assumes that T.Robinson and J.Gallon are gone, which we don't know yet, but I'll grant the point that they can safely be considered marginal talents.

    Secondly, on top of those guys you have H-back types like Miller and Funchess that can be used effectively when you need 4 WR.

    Third, Vincent Smith and Justin Hayes could potentially be used as WRs and there may be other position switches we don't yet know about.

    Fourth, it doesn't include the stud freshman WR we're going to add in this class.

    I see no great tragedy in this list of presumed 2012 WR:


    I think we can agree Roundtree is proven. He's versatile, runs his routes well, is generally reliable catching the ball, and has a ton of big plays on his resume. He's not Braylon, but who is?

    After Roundtree, you need to find just one other starter. Dileo could be our Wes Welker. Jackson can be a reliable possession guy and a big target. Robinson can be a playmaker. Stokes can be a reliable, if unexceptional, senior starter.

    Michigan has won plenty of games starting John Kolesar, Ron Bellomy, Russel Shaw, Greg Matthews types at WR before. No one was freaking out then.

    This may not be the greatest WR corps in UM history, but its a reasonably talented group with a variety of skills. Finding 2 starters and 4 reliable players from the 2012 roster should not be a big problem.

    There is nothing precarious about the WR position, we just don't have an established star at the position – not exactly cause for panic. Furthermore, it can be argued that Roundtree IS a star and will only get better as an upperclassmen.

    For the record, I have no opinion on Lucien one way or the other (when I [rarely] watch high school highlight film I glean very little useful information from it – so I defer to coaches and analysts generally). I trust the staff's decision to turn him down and I think it was the savvy move in terms of roster management.


  6. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Compare where we're at with WR in 2012 (one established quality starter, a serviceable senior, several underclassmen backups with positive spring reports) to most other positions on the roster and it looks pretty worry free.


  7. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    @ Lankownia 11:16 a.m.

    Using position changers, tight ends, and running backs as your fourth wide receiver might be just fine, but there's a reason that wide receivers play wide receiver. I don't think Funchess/Miller/Smith/Hayes are solutions to the depth problems at WR, but they're options.

    Those five wide receivers don't sound tragic. But they don't sound extremely threatening, either. Roundtree looked good for most of last year, but he's never played consistently on the outside, and it seems like he's not as well liked by this staff as he was by Rodriguez.

    I would be ecstatic if we get a stud freshman receiver in 2012, but obviously nobody knows if that's going to happen or not. Michigan has almost always had at least one great receiver (Manningham, Terrell, Alexander, Howard, Edwards, Walker, etc.), so that mitigates the need for an awesome #2 wideout. But without that obvious #1 on the roster going forward, I think it's completely reasonable that Michigan fans are concerned about finding a competent #2.

  8. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    @ Lankownia 11:23 a.m.

    I disagree that WR looks good in comparison to other spots (OL, QB, DE, LB, and CB all look better). Safety, DT, TE, and perhaps RB are worse off, but WR is still a concern.

  9. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    I wouldn't really say Roundtree has been reliable catching the ball. Over the last two years he's probably averaged two drops a game.

    That said, I really don't see the huge freakout over WR's either. I realize the pro game and college are completely different, but NFL teams rarely keep more than 5-6 WR's on the roster.

    There is of course the difference that NFL teams can add WR's when they need to, while college teams can't.

    I don't know, while I don't think at this point the 2012 group will be good, I think they should be solid enough that not signing Lucien isn't really that big a deal.

  10. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    @ Anonymous 11:46 a.m.

    NFL teams also only have 53-man roster (with 47 active players), so they would be sabotaging themselves if they had more than 5-6 wide receivers.

  11. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    @ Thunder

    I don't think the H-backs or RBs are solutions to 'the problem', I just think they can be used in 3 or 4 WR sets. You only really have to use 3 or 4 of your WR if the new Michigan offense is going to look anything like the old Michigan offense.

    Roundtree has played the outside before. It seems like he's good enough to be good anywhere with his skill set. Anyway, after watching Odoms and Roundtree the last few years I'm thinking the differences aren't that great.

    I think the fact of Michigan 'always' having a great WR is a product of the system to some degree. Walker and Streets and Terrel never amounted to much in the NFL. Even Howard and Edwards were disappointing to some degree as WR.

    You think DE looks better? Roh is equivalent to Roundtree – a guy who is young, looked great, but may not fit quite as well with the new staff. But who is the 'other' guy? At WR, you'll have a decent senior (Stokes), a couple of well-regarded juniors (Dileo, Jackson) and a sophomore (Robinson), plus options from other positions.

    At DE you have Black (who is more of a WDE – similar to the role issue at WR). As for depth…no one else has even played yet and we haven't heard many good thinks about Wilkins. Maybe its a position change guy, but my money is on the SDE spot being filled by 2012 recruit right now – and I'm usually pretty skeptical about such things.

    At DB, you'll have Kovacs and Floyd (if they're offered 5th years) and Courtney Avery plus a bunch of unproven recruits. I don't see how thats better.

    QB, OL, and probably LB I'll grant you – though even LB doesn't really have proven players at the level of Roundtree.

    The comparison to the NFL is a good one. The Lion's 4th string WR caught all of 3 passes this year. A team without a stud like Johnson, Tampa Bay, had their 4th WR and 5th WR catch 17 and 7 passes. This in 16 games.

    I think 1 or 2 catches a game can be handled pretty capably by a guy like Jackson or Dileo.

    Yes, we need an impact player to emerge, but, again, that's true at nearly every position and the WRs we currently have have not gotten much opportunity to show their stuff yet, particularly in this system. Robinson, Jackson and Dileo were freshman lets remember. Stokes has had a shot and hasn't impressed but, he was a highly regarded recruit, was still just a sophomore and didn't look out of place.

    Lets see where we're at with them at the end of the season. With Stonum's situation, we'll see more opportunities for them to get it done when he, Odoms, and Hemingway ship off.

    I just seems premature to worry about it to me, and this is the guy who is freaking out about the OL in 2013…


  12. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    The coaches are talking about taking even more kids in the 2012 class. What started as 16 scholarships has ballooned to insiders picking 22-23 and now the coaches say they're taking 2 more above that. Attrition to follow. We still have 22 DB's left playing for 4 spots and we're looking to (now) add 4 top players to that. One thing I do take away from this: when I worked out my depth chart for this spring I had a hard time telling which players were even adequate to compete as first choice backups. Half of them played sporadically, starting, getting pulled, switching positions, playing special teams, then strangely starting against ohio and Mississippi. It also seemed that the 07 and 08 kids were getting passed over for the 09 kids. Kind of like the qbs. "Here's Tate!" "Now Here's Denard!" "Now Here's Devin!" None of the kids I looked down on, but many of them didn't really make sense to go after and recruit and once here didn't fit anywhere on the roster. Thankfully Hoke has a clear goal of exactly who he wants and what they're going to do for this team. Building a foundation of the top Michigan and Ohio talent and then once the paper offers can go out they bring the select national 5 stars to an excited and already established class who've been in their ears and on their Facebook for months.

  13. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    @ Anonymous
    I'm so glad you're concerned about the 2012 class because after that rush of commits tapered off I've been dying to talk about our prospects.
    The 2012 group is on track to be a top 10 class nationally. Michigan has already been the top choice for the top 2 qb's and have landed a 2013 qb who's their equal or better at the Nike Combine. Our WR need is small so we'll only take 1 to add to our 2 TE's but our shortlist of likely commits for that 1 is in the top 150 of the Rivals 250 which says something because of how they devalue much of the midwest and 2 of them are of Lemmings 100. We have a reasonable chance of landing up to 11 of Tom Lemmings 100 (I would guess we end up with 6 of them, though) and could realistically land around 10 of the ESPN 150.Those top kids make a good story but the rest of the class is top talent as well. Almost the entire predicted class is ranked in the Scout300 and near 75% in the Rivals 250. Even more of the predicted class is found in The 247. Even if we only land 2-3 5 star players the class will only have 2-3 3 star players on average as well. Things are really looking up right now because on top of having great recruiting coaches selling a great school, they can also promise some playtime while we're "rebuilding."

  14. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 5:25 PM


    It didn't 'balloon' to 22. Many people were saying 20-22 several months ago because it was rational to assume some attrition with the coaching change. There's been less then expected so far, but there is sure to be some between now and Fall of 2012, when this recruiting class arrives. We have well over a year of attrition between now and then…

    The idea seems to be that attrition only happens because RR recruited shady characters and academic questions marks and Hoke won't. But there's always attrition and the coaches know it. Injuries, off-field stuff, standard transfers, early NFL entry, etc. They're recruiting for a class of 22, if not 25.

    A class of 1 QB, 2 TE, 5 OL, 6 DL, 4 LB, 4 DB gets you to 22. If the class is even bigger there shouldn't be a problem to fit in a RB, WR, FB or an extra linemen.

    There are 14 DBs projected for the 2012 roster, which is still a good number before you add in the recruits. But, two of them will be 5th year seniors that may not be renewed (Kovacs and Floyd) depending on how the season goes and some players may be converted to LB.

    I don't buy that Hoke's goals are any more clear than RR's. I just hope that his ability to achieve them is better.


  15. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    @ Lankownia
    Having a bad day?

  16. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Great day. Thanks for asking!

  17. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    @ Lank
    Let me be more specific, then. There isn't a prize awarded for shooting down other Michigan fans on a forum. Try to put a little more friendliness into responses. We're not debating, and I now have little interest in whether or not you "buy that Hokes goals are any more clear." For the record it isn't my idea that the attrition only happens because RR recruited shady characters, ect. and I also fully expected natural roster attrition especially in the newly redundant nickle-back and slot receiver positions, but 16 to 22 is a jump of over 2/5 and from 16 to the 25 I expect is over 1/2 increase so the great debate as to whether or not it can be considered "ballooning" isn't absolutely closed. Lots of people were expecting this to be a smaller class of around 20, so it's not an unreasonable assumption.
    Kovacs and Floyd might not be offered a 5th year but just based on previous performance it's likely they'll both stay on because they've stood out and their replacements are still a bit young. Typically I would expect our safeties to move up to LB like they've done in the past (and Hoke did with Cam Gordon) but some of the extra hybrid backs on our roster already moved down instead of up and Mattison wants the safeties to play both Free and Strong positions and a few DE's have moved down to LB as well so if any more safeties do end up moving it may be to another school before it's to a new position this year.
    Peace out.

  18. Comments: 21381
    May 24, 2011 at 7:31 PM


    Nothing is ballooning other than your expectations. There's no reason to think the coaches opinion on the matter of class size has changed significantly. The offers were flying right away and the pace of those offers has slowed way down (now that the elite guys have offered). In other words, they never expected it to be 16 so your 16 to 25 jump is your imaginary jump.

    You made a couple of assertions that I chose to quibble with because I disagree. Seems appropriate for a message board / blog comments section to me. My tone may not have been friendly but it was respectful. You don't like it – comments aren't hard to ignore.

    I hear you on DBs, but I think there's a lot left to be determined. We could see some LBs move to DE, FB, TE and some Safeties move to LB. Yes, we could see some transfers too. Its obvious the coaches see a need for bodies on D and some of the younger players that were RR recruits may see the playing time situation as bleak.

    -Lankownia the Prize Awardee

  19. Comments: 21381
    May 25, 2011 at 4:50 AM

    We aren't looking terrible at WR in 2012, but after that, it's a vast wasteland in 2013 and beyond. Unless you believe that some of RichRod's numerous 3* recruits that no other program worth a damn wanted is going to be a diamond in the rough.

  20. Comments: 21381
    May 25, 2011 at 5:50 AM

    DJ Williamson – another example of RR getting on marginal recruits way too early

  21. Comments: 21381
    May 25, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    @ Lutha

    No shit. Yet another reason why I'm relieved that he is gone.

  22. Comments: 21381
    Jul 14, 2011 at 11:00 PM

    I for one think that Lucien would be a valuable addition to our team. He runs great routes and is a great playmaker.

    For the Poster that stated that the coaching staff was not high on him. Look at the fact that Tony Dews is now at Pitt, and Pitt offered Lucien. I think that shows that the coaching staff was high on Lucien. Also Hoke was one of the first to offer Lucien.

    I just looked at the Bruin site on Rivals, and they believe that he is the most outstanding freshman there.

    I for one certainly wish we kept Lucien

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