Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2002

Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2002

June 19, 2019
Left to right: Antonio Bass, Jason Avant, Matt Gutierrez, Braylon Edwards

Taking another step toward cleaning up the Ex-Wolverines page (LINK), here’s a look back at the class of 2002: the first year Rivals existed.


Greg Cooper – S – Flint (MI) Northern
Cooper came to Michigan in 2002 and redshirted. He reportedly had academic issues and transferred to Michigan State, where he made 34 tackles, 1 interception, and 4 pass breakups in 2003. He made 17 tackles and 5 pass breakups as a part-time starter in 2004. As a redshirt junior in 2005, he made 48 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 pass breakup. He finished out his college career with 31 tackles and 2 pass breakups in 2006.

Matt Gutierrez – QB – Concord (CA) De La Salle
Gutierrez is one of those “What could have been” stories, to a lesser extent than Antonio Bass, but still a bit sad fifteen years later. A highly touted quarterback recruit, he redshirted in 2002 and backed up John Navarre in 2003 (13/19 for 153 yards, 1 passing TD, and 1 rushing TD). Slated to become the starter in 2004, he tore his labrum in pre-game warmups prior to the season opener. True freshman Chad Henne had to step in, and Henne never relinquished the starting job through 2007. Gutierrez was still a backup in 2005 (14/22 for 133 yards) but transferred to Idaho State for the 2006 season. There he went 187/342 for 2,237 yards and 16 touchdowns, plus 5 rushing touchdowns and 1 receiving score. He was not drafted in 2007, but spent time with the Patriots (backing up former Wolverine Tom Brady), Chiefs, Bears, Redskins, and Rams; in his NFL career, he was 2/2 for 18 yards. He then went on to play Arena football but his career ended in 2012.

Hit the jump for more.

Larry Harrison – DT – Detroit (MI) King
Harrison was a defensive end who redshirted as a freshman, and by the time he was in his second year, he had grown into a defensive tackle. He made 12 tackles and 2 tackles for loss as a redshirt freshman, and then in 2004, he made 24 tackles and 1 pass breakup. However, he got in legal trouble (LINK) and transferred to North Carolina A&T, where he played all eleven games in 2005.

Pierre Rembert – RB – Milkwaukee (WI) Cudahy
Rembert redshirted in 2002 while sitting behind Chris Perry. He became a backup in 2003, carrying the ball 21 times for 85 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2004 he ran 8 times for 46 yards. A transfer to Illinois State followed, where he ran 145 times for 801 yards (5.5 YPC), scored 12 touchdowns, and caught 8 passes for 138 yards. He set the single-game rushing record with 272 yards and 6 touchdowns in one game against Missouri State. He really stepped up in 2006 with 355 carries for 1,753 yards (4.9 YPC) and 16 touchdowns, along with 15 receptions for 99 yards and 1 touchdown.


Tom Berishaj – OG – Sterling Heights (MI) Stevenson
Berishaj redshirted in 2002, and he left the school in 2003 before ever playing a down.

Quinton McCoy – S – Chandler (AZ) Valley Christian
McCoy was a 5’11”, 175 lb. athlete coming out of high school, but he struggled with academics. He did not qualify straight out of high school and then re-signed with Michigan in 2003, but grades caught up with him as a freshman, and he was gone by 2004.

Kevin Murphy – TE – Grand Rapids (MI) Forest Hills Central
Murphy spent four seasons on Michigan’s roster as a backup tight end. He redshirted in 2002 and was a backup/special teamer through 2005, but he never played much. His career stats consist of 1 tackle. He did not return for a final season in 2006.


I don’t know of any players who decommitted during the 2002 recruiting cycle.

One comment

  1. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jun 19, 2019 at 10:15 AM

    I remember having plans to take my then 6yo son to watch the great delasalle in mid September… they lost the week before to some school in Washington. It was a huge deal around here, and guys like Gutierrez were legends

You must belogged in to post a comment.