Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2009

Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2009

June 12, 2019
I know you miss those Adidas uniforms. Justin Turner and Will Campbell

If you’ve been reading for long, you know I love to look in the rearview mirror. So this is a reflection on the 2009 class a decade later. (Note: It also serves to condense my “Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia” page, which helps that one load faster.)


Shavodrick Beaver – Quarterback – Wichita Falls (TX) Rider
Beaver committed to Michigan in fall 2008, but decommitted in December and enrolled at Tulsa in January 2009.  As a freshman, he was 1/3 for 6 yards as a passer, and he carried the ball 27 times for 63 yards.  As a sophomore in 2010, he completed 4/6 passes for 62 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 interception; he also carried the ball 20 times for 102 yards and 1 TD.  Beaver transferred to Midwestern State in July 2011 after learning that he would be sitting out the season at Tulsa due to grade issues. He was 2/3 for 12 yards with 12 carries for 138 yards and 1 touchdown in 2012. In his final year, he completed 15/23 passes for 211 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception, along with 34 carries for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns, in an injury-shortened campaign.
Current status: Out of football

Anthony Fera – Placekicker/punter – Cypress (TX) St. Pius X
Fera committed to Michigan in summer 2008.  He then changed his commitment to Penn State in fall 2008.  As a freshman, he redshirted.  In 2010 he averaged 41.4 yards per punt on 46 attempts.  As a redshirt sophomore in 2011, he averaged 42 yards per punt and was 14/17 on field goals.  He transferred to Texas prior to the 2012 season after sanctions were levied against PSU. At Texas he was 23/25 on extra points and 2/4 on field goals in 2012. As a senior in 2013, he was 45/46 on extra points and 20/22 on field goals; he also became the team’s punter, averaging 41.7 yards per punt on 21 attempts. He spent some time with the BC Lions and Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League in 2015 and 2016, respectively, but his career ended after that.
Current status: Out of football

Pearlie Graves – Defensive tackle – Tulsa (OK) East Central
Graves committed to Michigan in fall 2008.  He then changed his commitment to Texas Tech just before Signing Day.  He redshirted as a freshman.  As a redshirt freshman backup DT in 2010, Graves had 20 tackles, 2 sacks, and 4.5 tackles for loss.  Graves left the team in September 2011 due to undisclosed reasons.
Current status: Out of football

DeQuinta Jones – Defensive tackle – Bastrop (LA) Bastrop
Jones committed to Michigan in fall 2008.  He changed his commitment to Arkansas on National Signing Day in February 2009.  As a freshman, he started 3 games and finished with 24 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 1 pass breakup.  As a sophomore, he made 38 tackles, .5 tackles for loss, and 2 forced fumbles.  As a junior, he made 19 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 sack. In his 2012 senior season, he made 18 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 5 pass breakups. He was not drafted in 2013 and spent some time with the Jacksonville Jaguars before playing a little bit in the Indoor Football League.
Current status: Out of football

Bryce McNeal – Wide receiver – Minneapolis (MN) Breck
McNeal committed to the Wolverines in early fall 2008 and was apparently recruiting other kids to come to Michigan.  However, he had a change of heart during the football season and ended up signing with Clemson in February 2009. He redshirted as a freshman in 2009. As a redshirt freshman in 2010, he had 19 catches for 187 yards; he also carried the ball 4 times for 7 yards. He caught 1 pass for 8 yards early in 2011 but decided to transfer mid-season. News of him transferring to Louisville and UConn did not pan out, and he never played for either team.
Current status: Out of football

Kevin Newsome – Quarterback – Portsmouth (VA) Western Branch
Newsome committed to Michigan in summer 2008, despite previously insisting that he wanted to play in a pro-style offense.  He changed his commitment to Penn State in fall 2008 and enrolled early in January 2009.  He backed up senior Daryll Clark, completed 8/11 passes for 66 yards, and ran the ball 20 times for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns.  As a sophomore in 2010, he completed 6/13 passes for 78 yards.  He sat out the 2011 season due to transfer rules after transferring to Temple. As a backup quarterback in 2012, he ran 5 times for 57 yards and was 0/1 passing. He was going to move to running back to finish out his career, but he quit football before that position switch occurred.
Current status: Out of football

Dewayne Peace – Wide receiver/cornerback – Grand Prairie (TX) South
Peace committed to Michigan in summer 2008, but as the recruiting process advanced, Michigan’s coaches became insistent that he play cornerback.  Peace changed his commitment to Arizona in an effort to play his favored position, wide receiver.  He redshirted as a freshman and moved to cornerback in spring 2010.  Peace was arrested for aggravated assault during his freshman year and transferred to Blinn Junior College.  He then played the 2011 season at Houston, where he caught 13 passes for 108 yards. He became a starter at receiver in 2012, catching 54 passes for 603 yards (11.2 yards/catch) and 2 touchdowns; he also returned 11 punts for 48 yards.
Current status: Out of football


Isaiah Bell – Safety/linebacker – Youngstown (OH) Liberty
Bell committed to Michigan in March 2008 and entered college as a 6’1″, 220-ish pound safety.  However, he added significant weight, and not the type of healthy weight to remain at safety.  Rich Rodriguez and staff moved him to middle linebacker, where he continued to languish.  When Brady Hoke was hired, the new staff experimented with Bell as a weakside defensive end.  Bell left the program prior to the 2011 season without ever playing in a game at Michigan.  He transferred to Lake Erie College, a Division II program; as a redshirt junior in 2012, he had 7 tackles and 1 forced fumble. In his final year, he made 14 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble that he returned for a 97-yard touchdown.
Current status: Out of football

Vladimir Emilien – Safety – Lauderhill (FL) Plantation
Emilien came to Michigan after blowing out his knee prior to his senior season of football.  Several other teams backed off their scholarship offers, but Michigan stuck by him.  He played in five games on special teams as a true freshman.  As a sophomore in 2010, he played sparingly in the opener against UConn but then requested a transfer after Cameron Gordon was named the starter.  Emilien sat out the 2011 season due to transfer rules. He made 33 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, and 1 interception as a linebacker/safety hybrid in 2012, following that up with 15 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 fumble recovery in 2013.
Current status: Out of football

Tate Forcier – Quarterback – San Diego (CA) Scripps Ranch
Forcier was an early enrollee in January 2009, the first true quarterback prospect to arrive on campus since Rich Rodriguez’s arrival.  He seized the starting job as a freshman and started all 12 games.  His most memorable game in a 5-7 season was against Notre Dame, in which he had a couple clutch touchdowns to finish off the Irish.  He finished the season 165-for-281 for 2,050 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions; he also gained 240 yards and had 3 touchdowns. However, Forcier fell out of favor with the coaches in the off-season and was demoted for his sophomore year in 2010 in favor of Denard Robinson. He played in 8 games and replaced an injured Robinson in the Illinois game, leading the team to a 67-65 victory in triple-overtime. Forcier finished his sophomore season 54-for-84 for 597 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions; he also rushed 22 times for 51 yards and 1 touchdown. He transferred to San Jose State University and sat out the 2011 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but left the school in January 2012 for academic reasons. He signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL in spring 2012 but was cut from the team a month later.
Current status: Out of football

Teric Jones – Running back – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Jones committed to Michigan in spring 2008 and joined Detroit Cass Tech teammates William Campbell and Thomas Gordon in forming a trio from the same school in the class.  While Jones arrived on campus expecting to play slot receiver, he switched to cornerback in summer practices because of a shortage at the position and made 5 tackles throughout the year.  In fall 2010 he switched back to offense and ran the ball 3 times for 7 yards against Bowling Green.  However, he suffered a knee injury against Illinois and did not play again in 2010 or participate in spring practices in 2011.  He received a medical scholarship and left the team in summer 2011.
Current status: Out of football

Anthony Lalota – Defensive end – Princeton (NJ) Hun School
Lalota committed to Michigan as a 4-star defensive end prospect.  He learned the game of football late, having not joined his high school team until his junior year.  After bulking up from 235 lbs. as a freshman to 270 lbs. as a redshirt freshman, he was buried on the depth chart at DE.  He transferred to Rutgers prior to the 2010 season and sat out the year due to NCAA transfer rules.  The Scarlet Knights tried to make him an offensive lineman, at which point Lalota decided to quit the football team.
Current status: Out of football

Mike Jones – Linebacker – Orlando (FL) Edgewater
Jones played sparingly during his three years at Michigan. He played in sixteen total games and made 8 tackles during that stretch. After his junior year, he decided to transfer to Western Michigan. After sitting out 2012 due to transfer rules, he became the starting inside linebacker for the Broncos, making 92 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 pass breakup in 2013.
Current status: Out of football

Je’Ron Stokes – Wide receiver – Philadelphia (PA) Northeast
Stokes was a highly touted recruit coming out of high school, but struggled to work his way up the depth chart at Michigan.  He caught only 2 passes for 16 yards as a freshman in 2009 and 1 pass for 11 yards as a sophomore.  After being passed up by younger receivers, he chose to leave the program in August 2011.  He transferred to Bowling Green, where his younger brother Malik also played, and in 2012 caught 15 passes for 114 yards and 1 touchdown. He followed up that season by transferring to Norfolk State (with his brother) and caught 15 passes for 158 yards and 1 touchdown.
Current status: Out of football

Justin Turner – Cornerback – Massillon (OH) Washington
Turner was a 4-star cornerback from the same school as Shawn Crable.  He showed up late to camp as a freshman because of some NCAA Clearinghouse issues, and he was reportedly out of shape.  Still most Michigan fans assumed he would play in 2009, especially when starter Boubacar Cissoko was suspended (and eventually kicked off the team).  However, Turner remained on the bench for the entire season and redshirted.  He left Michigan prior to the 2010 season, after some reports indicated he had outgrown the position (listed at 6’2″, 197 lbs.) and didn’t have the necessary agility to play CB. While sitting out the 2010 season at West Virginia, he then decided to transfer to a junior college in Ohio . . . but ended up at Scottsdale (AZ) Community College.  At Scottsdale he made 47 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 3 interceptions, 17 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries. As far as I know, that was the end of his journey as a football player.
Current status: Out of football


Adrian Witty – Cornerback – Deerfield Beach (FL) Deerfield Beach
Witty committed to Michigan on National Signing Day in 2009, along with teammate Denard Robinson.  However, Witty failed to qualify and spent a semester working to get through the NCAA Clearinghouse.  Michigan then denied him entry, but Head Coach Rich Rodriguez put in a good word with Cincinnati’s coaches and Witty enrolled at Cincinnati in January 2010.  As a freshman in 2010, Witty had 1 tackle.  As a sophomore in 2011, he made 15 tackles, 1 pass breakup, and 1 forced fumble. In 2012 he made 25 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 2 pass breakups. As a redshirt junior in 2013, he 46 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interceptions, and 5 pass breakups. Elected as a captain for his final year, he played in one game (3 tackles) before suffering a season- and career-ending injury.
Current status: Out of football


  1. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jun 12, 2019 at 8:26 AM

    What a terrible trip down memory lane!

    As an aside, Kevin Newsome transferred to Temple

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jun 12, 2019 at 12:58 PM

      Oops. Yeah, I wrote that he transferred, but I forgot to include the destination.

  2. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jun 12, 2019 at 4:26 PM

    I still think Tate could have been a good player if he had his head screwed on straight. Turns out maybe taking your kid out of school to prepare him for a life of Quarterbacking is probably a terrible idea. Who could have guessed.

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jun 14, 2019 at 7:34 AM

      I agree on Forcier. He was a pretty accurate QB with decent athleticism. He made impulsive decisions on the field, and maybe that was a symptom of what he did off the field, too. I don’t know that he’s ever been a true troublemaker, but I don’t think he was big into leadership, either.

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