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.
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