Review of 2008 Recruiting: Cornerback

Tag: Boubacar Cissoko

26Dec 2019
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Review of 2008 Recruiting: Cornerback

Boubacar Cissoko


  • Doug Dutch (RS Sr.)
  • Morgan Trent (RS Sr.)
  • Donovan Warren (So.)
  • Troy Woolfolk (So.)


Boubacar Cissoko
High school: Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Ratings: 4-star, #13 CB, #137 overall
College: Michigan
Scoop: Cissoko made 31 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 interception during 1.5 seasons in Ann Arbor, but legal troubles cut his career short. He spent some time incarcerated and ended up playing in the Arena Football League and overseas.

J.T. Floyd
High school:
Greenville (SC) J.L. Mann
3-star, #64 CB, #815 overall
For a discussion of Floyd’s career, you can check out this old senior profile from the end of Floyd’s career (LINK). He was not drafted in 2013 and did not play in the NFL.

Hit the jump for more.

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29Jan 2017
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Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2008

Boubacar Cissoko (image via Bleacher Report)

If you want the scoop on other former Michigan commits and signees, check out the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia (LINK).


Boubacar Cissoko – Cornerback – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech
Cissoko was an early commitment in 2007.  Highly recruited, he played extensively as a freshman in 2008.  A starter at the beginning of 2009, Cissoko made 16 tackles, 2 pass breakups, and 1 interception before being suspended and eventually kicked off the team for personal conduct issues.  Cissoko was then arrested for robbery charges that occurred after his football career ended.  He was released from jail and played semi-pro football.
Current status: Out of football

Hit the jump for more on the class of 2008.

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28Jan 2012
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Ex-Wolverine Updates: The Class of 2008

Former Michigan running back Sam McGuffie

Former Michigan cornerback Boubacar Cissoko spent the 2011 season (well, in the summertime) with the Detroit Downriver Diesels of the Great Lakes Football League.  His football season came after being released from incarceration for multiple offenses.  He ended the season with 13 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 pass breakup, 1 fumble recovery (returned 10 yards for a touchdown), and 2 kickoff returns for 63 yards.

Former Michigan wide receiver/quarterback Justin Feagin last played college football at Texas Southern University back in 2009.  Since that time he has not reappeared on a college roster, as far as I know.

Former Michigan linebacker Taylor Hill, who left Michigan prior to the beginning of his freshman season, has not played college football since 2009, when he was at Youngstown State University.  He redshirted in 2010, but did not appear on the 2011 roster at YSU.

Former Michigan running back Sam McGuffie spent an injury-plagued 2011 season at Rice.  He only played in 7 games due to a nagging ankle injury, totaling just 38 carries for 158 yards (4.2 yards per carry) and 1 touchdown.  He also completed his only pass attempt for 15 yards, caught 9 passes for 72 yards (8 yards per catch) and 1 touchdown, and returned 3 kickoffs for 55 yards.  He will be a fifth year senior in the fall and will battle with redshirt junior Turner Petersen for the starting job.  Check out this article for a nice story about Sam and his interactions with fans.

Former Michigan offensive tackle Dann O’Neill, who transferred to Western Michigan in 2009, started against Michigan in the 2011 season opener.  He was named Third Team All-MAC and will be a fifth year senior in the fall.

Former Michigan safety/linebacker Brandon Smith transferred to Temple prior to the 2010 season, but never appeared on the Temple roster and has apparently ended his college career.

Former Michigan offensive guard Kurt Wermers transferred to Ball State in 2009 after being academically ineligible at Michigan, but he never played a down for Ball State and has apparently ended his football career.

Former Michigan quarterback commit John Wienke threw just 1 pass this season . . . which was thrown to an Oklahoma Sooner.  Which is bad because Wienke plays for Iowa.  He ended the season with a -200.0 quarterback rating based on that 1 attempt.

Former Michigan tight end/H-back commit Christian Wilson just finished his senior year at North Carolina.  He had 10 catches for 107 yards in 2011.  He finished his career with 22 catches for 188 yards and 1 touchdown.

Former Michigan linebacker commit Marcus Witherspoon is out of football after transferring to Rutgers for a short period of time in 2008 and 2009.

Class of 2010 bonus update: Former Michigan safety Carvin Johnson has signed with Hampton University of the Football Championship Subdivision.  He will be a junior in the fall and should be eligible to play immediately.  This is the same school where Marell Evans spent a couple seasons prior to returning to Michigan.

For news on other former players and commits, check out the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia.

6Jan 2011
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Top 10 Failures of Rich Rodriguez

1.  Losing games.  This is obvious, but it belongs on the list.  Rodriguez finished his three years at Michigan with a 15-22 record.  That winning percentage (.405) is the worst in Michigan history.

2. Losing to rivals.  Rodriguez was 0-6 against Michigan’s two biggest rivals, Ohio State and Michigan State.  If you want to include Penn State, he was 0-9.  He was outscored by a total of 317-140 in those nine games.  It’s unclear how much a couple victories against Ohio State or Michigan State might have affected Rodriguez’s tenure, but wins against Indiana and Purdue don’t carry the same weight.

3. Neutering Scott Shafer.  Shafer has proven to be a solid defensive coordinator at every other stop – Western Michigan, Stanford, and Syracuse.  The former two were prior to Shafer’s hiring at Michigan.  But Rodriguez’s other defensive assistants were proponents of the 3-3-5 and seemed to undermine his authority.  Late in the season, Rodriguez even authorized a mid-season switch of defensive schemes from the 4-3 to a 3-3-5; Michigan subsequently allowed 42 points to Purdue, a team using a converted running back to play QB.  Shafer could have been a good coordinator at Michigan and helped Rodriguez keep his job, but he was fired after the 2008 season because, well, someone’s head needed to roll after a 3-9 season.

4. Hiring Greg Robinson.  Robinson had intermittent success as a coordinator in the NFL and in college.  But just like Shafer, Robinson was a 4-3 or a 3-4 guy.  In my opinion, the defense showed some promise in 2009, when Robinson used safety Steve Brown as an outside linebacker and freshman Craig Roh as a rush linebacker.  However, Rodriguez used the 2009-10 offseason to convert to the 3-3-5, and Robinson was obviously uncomfortable and inexperienced with running that defensive set.  That resulted in 458 points allowed in 2010, an average of 35.2 points per game.

5. Not retaining holdover players from the Carr era.  Michigan was extremely short-handed in 2009, fielding a team of 69 or 70 players who were given scholarships right out of high school.  Some of those players were bound for a career of anonymity, I’m sure, but others were not.  Quarterback Ryan Mallett was vaguely in Heisman contention this season.  Justin Boren became an All-Big Ten guard at Ohio State.  Adrian Arrington chose to enter the NFL Draft (and became only a 7th round choice) a year early.  Rodriguez can’t shoulder the blame entirely for these departures, but there’s no question that a guy like Boren would have been helpful in 2008 and 2009, the former season featuring a starting guard (John Ferrara) that was a mid-season position switcher from defensive tackle.

6. Stretching too much.  The Detroit Free Press reported some trumped-up charges regarding Michigan’s practice schedule, and that sparked an NCAA investigation.  While the charges were blown out of proprtion, they were a black mark on the Michigan program and resulted in probation and some lost practice hours.  Rodriguez wasn’t responsible for everything that went wrong in the compliance department, but his staff did fail to keep track of its countable practice hours accurately and a graduate assistant watched some voluntary 7-on-7s, which is a no-no.

7. Not finding his Steve Slaton.  Pat White got a lot of hype at West Virginia, but running back Steve Slaton was almost as important as White.  And prior to White’s arrival on campus, Rodriguez used running backs like Quincy Wilson and Kay-Jay Harris to great effect.  Rodriguez never found “that guy” at Michigan, partially due to injuries and partially due to recruiting.  Therefore, the offense wasn’t as spectacular as it might have been.  The lack of a running game cost Michigan a couple games throughout his tenure.

8. Not developing top prospects.  Rodriguez seemed to have an abnormal number of high-end recruits bomb out of the program.  And it’s probably a coincidence, but most of them seemed to come from the defensive secondary.  Four 4-star players recruited by Rodriguez never made a significant positive impact at Michigan (Demar Dorsey, Boubacar Cissoko, Justin Turner, Vladimir Emilien), which resulted in five true freshman defensive backs seeing significant time in 2010.  Furthermore, arguably Michigan’s best prospect in the last few classes (William Campbell) has yet to make an impact at Michigan and just switched from nose tackle to offensive guard in the middle of the season.

9. Handing out the #1 jersey to J.T. Floyd.  Before Rodriguez ever coached a snap at Michigan, he tried to give the #1 jersey to true freshman cornerback J.T. Floyd.  He was either unaware of the jersey’s significance or chose to ignore that aspect, but it was nonetheless a mistake.  Nothing seemed to highlight the fact that Rodriguez wasn’t a “Michigan Man” more than the #1 jersey snafu, which pitted some alumni and fans against him from the start.

10.  Poor player personnel decisions.  Part of the heat falls on the assistant coaches, but Rodriguez shoulders most of this blame because he has the final say: Rodriguez didn’t put his players in their best positions to succeed.  Running backs Sam McGuffie and Vincent Smith played far too much when there were more productive and explosive backs on the roster (Brandon Minor and Michael Shaw for starters).  Obi Ezeh should have been an outside linebacker starting back in 2008; and at least according to their play on the field, Ezeh should have been replaced by Kenny Demens much earlier.  Cameron Gordon – who has linebacker speed – spent half the 2010 season playing free safety.  William Campbell spent two years toiling on the defensive line before making a permanent move to the offensive line, and he didn’t even redshirt to allow for a fifth year of eligibility.

17Nov 2010
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Ideal Big Ten Cornerback Height

Over 85% of All-Big Ten cornerbacks are taller than 5’9″.

Last week I put together a post about the ideal size for cornerbacks.  That was in response to a discussion that arose on MGoBlog, and MGoBlog author Brian felt it worthwhile enough to reference.

Well, commenter ironman4579 did some further research and looked up the All-Big Ten teams from 2004-2009.  Six years is probably less representative than a ten-year sample, but regardless, the trend continues – taller cornerbacks earn all-conference selections more frequently.

As you can see from the chart above, 5’9″ cornerbacks make up slightly less than 15% of the sample.  Cornerbacks who are 5’10” or 6’1″ make up slightly less than 12% each, but the difference between 15% and 12% is likely negligible.  Besides, there aren’t too many 6’1″ cornerbacks out there. 

The thing to note here, I think, is that the biggest set of All-Big Ten cornerbacks is 5’11”.  The same held true (sort of) for Pro Bowl selections in last week’s study, where 23% of Pro Bowl cornerbacks were 5’11” and 23% were 5’10”.  Those heights seem to be somewhat consistent in studying these two groups of cornerbacks.

I do not think these bits of research suggest that Michigan should completely avoid recruiting cornerbacks who are 5’9″ or shorter.  Obviously, there will be exceptions.  But it seems that Michigan has made a habit of recruiting short cornerbacks in recent years (Boubacar Cissoko and Delonte Hollowell, among several others they pursued but who never committed), and the statistics suggest that’s unwise.

Thanks to ironman4579 for the research!