Ex-Wolverine Updates: The Class of 2010

Tag: Tony Drake

14Jan 2012
Uncategorized 21 comments

Ex-Wolverine Updates: The Class of 2010

Former Michigan signee Demar Dorsey played for Grand Rapids
Community College during the 2011 season
(image via MLive)

Former Michigan cornerback Cullen Christian redshirted at Pitt this past season due to NCAA transfer rules.  He transferred to Pitt in order to follow former Michigan defensive backs coach Tony Gibson, who has since been hired for the same role at Arizona.  Christian made several negative comments on Twitter about Gibson and Pitt head coach Todd Graham for leaving Pitt so soon.  Christian will presumably remain at Pitt with new head coach Paul Chryst, since he’s already transferred once and he’s near home.

Former Michigan signee Demar Dorsey spent this past season at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan.  He played in just seven games and ended the season with 10.5 tackles, 1 interception (for 51 yards), 4 pass breakups, and 2 kickoff returns for 51 yards.  He’s going to need a new place to play, though, because GRCC disbanded its football program this past week.

Former Michigan commit Tony Drake spent 2010 as a wide receiver/running back at Colorado State, but was declared academically ineligible for the 2011 season.  It’s unclear if he will return to the program.

Former Michigan safety Carvin Johnson left the football program in the middle of the 2011 season.  He was enrolled at Michigan throughout the fall semester.  Prior to his departure, he played in eight games for the Wolverines and made 14 tackles, 1 pass breakup, and 1 fumble recovery.

Former Michigan signee Conelius Jones was academically ineligible to play at Marshall this past season.  Since graduating in 2010, he has yet to appear on a college roster.  His current status is unknown.

Former Michigan signee Antonio Kinard attended Hargrave Military Academy in 2010, then signed with Miami in 2011 . . . and was declared academically ineligible at Miami, too.  He is headed to Arizona Western to play football in fall 2012.

Former Michigan center Christian Pace injured his shoulder during practice in 2010 and left the team this past off-season on a medical scholarship.  He is still enrolled at the University of Michigan.

Former Michigan linebacker Davion Rogers spent the 2011 season as a 6’6″, 215 lb. linebacker at Youngstown State.  He played in 11 games and made 45 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 5 pass breakups, and 1 interception (which was returned 27 yards for a touchdown).  He also blocked 2 kicks.

Former Michigan safety Ray Vinopal sat out the 2011 season at Pitt due to NCAA transfer rules.  In much the same situation as Cullen Christian (minus the childish Twitter rant), he will be a redshirt sophomore in fall 2012.

Former Michigan running back Austin White sat out the 2011 season at Central Michigan due to NCAA transfer rules.  He will be a redshirt sophomore at CMU in fall 2012.

The current whereabouts of former Michigan defensive tackle Terry Talbott and wide receiver D.J. Williamson are unknown.

Class of 2011 Bonus: Former Michigan offensive lineman Tony Posada is no longer playing football.  Thanks for yet another wasted scholarship, Rich Rodriguez!

For further updates on ex-Wolverines and former commits, check out the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia.

16Aug 2011
Uncategorized 2 comments

Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia Update: Tony Drake

Tony Drake (#12)

Former Wolverine commit Tony Drake made the news this past week, and not for a good reason.  Drake was declared academically ineligible to participate for the 2011 season at Colorado State.

Drake committed to Michigan and Rich Rodriguez in March 2009.  Coming from Skyline High School in Dallas, TX, he could have been the first step toward building a pipeline to the powerhouse program.  However, rumors started to swirl during the 2009-2010 school year that Michigan had stopped recruiting Drake, likely due to grade issues.  Sure enough, by late January 2010, Drake switched his commitment to Colorado State.

As a Michigan-level recruit playing at Colorado State, he had a fair amount of success in his true freshman season.  Drake split time between wide receiver and running back, catching 6 passes for 71 yards and rushing 7 times for 89 yards and 1 touchdown.  He also led the team in kickoff returns, taking 29 of them back for an average of 24.3 yards per attempt.

Unfortunately for the 5’8″, 169-pounder, his road may have ended when he was pronounced academically ineligible last week.  He no longer appears on the CSU roster and will either get his academics back on track and rejoin the team or perhaps end his career prematurely.

Find out about Drake and others in the Ex-Wolverine Encyclopedia, read his commitment post from a couple seasons ago, or check out his high school highlights below:

[Thanks to reader Robby for alerting me to Drake’s academic status.]
6Dec 2009
Uncategorized no comments

Recruiting Roundup: Wide Receivers and Slot Receivers

Kenny Shaw

So far the most successfully recruited position group for the 2010 class has been wide receivers and slot receivers. In total, Michigan’s coaches have secured six commitments from that group. Four of them are wideouts (Ricardo Miller, Jeremy Jackson, D.J. Williamson, and Jerald Robinson); the other two are slots (Drew Dileo and Tony Drake).

Five of those commitments came very early on in the process, and I have maintained since then that not all of these wide receivers would end up signing with Michigan in February. Whether someone is slow-played into decommitting, doesn’t qualify, or chooses another school instead, not all six of these kids will end up wearing a Michigan uniform. Fitting with that theory, recent rumors suggest that slot receiver Tony Drake has yet to qualify for admission to the University of Michigan. Although cornerback Adrian Witty from the Class of 2009 did eventually qualify, he had to sit out the 2009 season; the coaches will surely try to avoid a similar situation in 2010.

The only two uncommitted receivers who have Michigan offers are Kenny Shaw (Orlando, FL) and Chris Dunkley (Pahokee, FL). Dunkley received an early offer from Michigan, but he never had much interest in coming to Ann Arbor. Shaw, on the other hand, is still being actively recruited by the Wolverines. His former teammate is none other than Ricardo Miller, who has perhaps been Michigan’s best recruiter. I expect that Shaw will end up staying down south, but there’s a possibility that he could take the spot of Drake (if the latter fails to qualify) or another wide receiver who might decommit.

5Dec 2009
Uncategorized 2 comments

Ray Vinopal, Wolverine

Ray Vinopal
Cardinal Mooney (Youngstown, OH) safety Ray Vinopal celebrated today’s state championship victory by announcing that he had committed to Michigan. He called the coaches on Wednesday to let them know about the commitment, but it was kept quiet so Vinopal could concentrate on beating DeSales High School (Columbus, OH) in the championship, which he and his teammates did with a 35-7 win.
Vinopal is a 5’10”, 178 lb. high school free safety/running back who will most likely play strong safety in Greg Robinson’s defense. (Remember, the strong safety for Robinson is usually the deep safety.) Cardinal Mooney is a traditional powerhouse, having produced players like Penn State RB Brandon Beachum, Ohio State DT John Simon, and Notre Dame safeties Dan and Kyle McCarthy in recent years.
I have been lukewarm on Michigan’s pursuit of Vinopal since he was offered. He’s a 2-star recruit to each of the three recruiting services (Rivals, Scout, ESPN), but more than that, I’m just not that impressed with the film I’ve seen. Vinopal has some physical limitations. He’s listed at 5’10” or 5’11” and anywhere from 170 to 178 lbs., but he looks small on the field. His 40-yard dash time is listed at 4.56, which you know is a lie, considering the fact that Pat White ran a 4.55 at the NFL Combine last year. Vinopal’s other scholarship offers came from the likes of Bowling Green, Kent State, and Air Force.
When I read Bruce Feldman’s Meat Market last year, I read an interesting quote from former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron. When he and his coaches were looking at a prospect’s film, he said something along the lines of, “You can’t knock a kid for technical faults. As a coach, you have to believe you can fix that.” From reading that book and using that philosophy, I’ve taken that advice and applied it, not only to my reviews of recruits, but to my coaching.
And that’s the problem I have with the Vinopal offer and commitment. When I watch him, I don’t see a whole lot to fix. He’s pretty technically sound. He reads plays well, he accelerates well, and you can see that he goes full-speed. He goes all out . . . and I’m still not impressed. He’s not a great tackler. He’s not extremely fast. He’s going to get overpowered in the run game, outrun in open space, and outjumped in the passing game. When he gets to full speed, his running form goes completely out of whack, although that’s something that may be able to be fixed.
Meanwhile, Michigan still has two somewhat realistic options for 4-star safeties Sean Parker (Narbonne, CA) and Rashad Knight (Jacksonville, FL). They’re also recruiting Glenville, OH, safety Latwan Anderson, although he’s almost surely ticketed for Ohio State. The Vinopal commitment also puts the Wolverines at 23 commitments for the 2010 class, a class in which Michigan can only take 25 scholarship players. There are still uncommitted players at other positions out there, such as Maryland linebacker Josh Furman, Florida cornerback Tony Grimes, and Grimes’s teammate, defensive end Clarence Murphy.
Something has to give. Perhaps Michigan’s offer to Vinopal is as a grayshirt player, someone who will pay for his first semester of college until a scholarship opens up. Perhaps Michigan knows that one of their commitments isn’t going to qualify; linebacker Antonio Kinard and slot receiver Tony Drake are rumored to be on the verge of not qualifying.
Either way, I’m not excited about Vinopal’s commitment. Michigan already has Vinopal’s brother on the roster – his name is Jordan Kovacs. Both are short on speed and talent, and both are undersized. I hope Vinopal turns out to be Michigan’s version of former Iowa safety Bob Sanders or even former Minnesota safety Tyrone Carter, but I just don’t see that happening. Vinopal looks like a career special teamer.
30Apr 2009
Uncategorized 5 comments

Drew Dileo, Wolverine

Louisiana slot receiver Drew Dileo has committed to the University of Michigan. I wrote a scouting report on Dileo at the end of March, so I won’t rehash what I already said there.

However, in the meantime, Dileo had picked up offers from Stanford, Rice, Tulane, Virginia, and Northwestern.

In regards to the rest of the class, Rich Rodriguez and Co. have to be nearing the end of their wide receiver recruiting. This gives Michigan six potential wide receivers in the class of 2010, which is an astronomical number, especially considering that the class currently should hold only about 19 players. However, Michigan has recently sent out offers to outside wide receivers such as Andrew Carswell and Adrian Coxson, so I wouldn’t bet any considerable amount of money that Michigan is done recruiting WRs.

A quick run-through of the six current commits:

1. Jeremy Jackson – At 6’4″, he’s destined for outside WR . . . or TE. However, he would probably take his talents elsewhere if the coaches put him at TE, so he’s either a WR or gone.

2. Ricardo Miller – At 6’2″ and 205 lbs., I think Miller is headed for outside WR. There’s been some talk that he could move to tight end, but I just don’t see it.

3. Jerald Robinson – He’s 6’2″ and 175 lbs. but could play safety. I honestly think there’s a very good chance he’ll end up on defense . . . or he’ll decommit, much like Dewayne Peace last year.

4. D.J. Williamson – Williamson is 6’1″ and 172 lbs. He could play outside or in the slot. He could potentially add depth at CB, too, but he won’t make an impact there. I think Williamson is the most likely to decommit of the aforementioned group.

5. Tony Drake – Drake is headed for slot or running back. He reminds me of Odoms, which makes me think he’ll be a slot.

6. Drew Dileo – Dileo has good hands and normally I’d say he’s headed for slot receiver. However, with the increasing number of wide receivers in this class, maybe the coaching staff is liking his potential at RB more and more. That’s pure speculation and I doubt its voracity, but it’s possible. I think his biggest contribution will be as a kick/punt returner.