The Wolverine

October 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 30 of 91

The Lost Decade: Michigan���s Safety Play In The 2000s Since the start of 2000, Michigan has employed 21 different athletes at the safety position. Here is a look at them, with a short summary. (Starts for active players are through the 2011 San Diego State game.) Safety Years Starts DeWayne Patmon 2000 10 Followed Tommy Hendricks and could never quite measure to his predecessor, but the speedster would rank among the best safeties since 2000. Julius Curry 2000-01 15 A playmaker, with four career picks for 116 yards, Curry was a rising star but injuries disrupted his development after a breakout sophomore season. Charles Drake 2000-02 25 A converted running back, Drake kept the ball in front of him but didn���t make many big plays and struggled against the run. Cato June 2001-02 22 Recruited as an elite cornerback, June suffered a knee injury early in his career that robbed him of speed and explosiveness. 2002 3 Jon Shaw Another former tailback, Shaw was a stopgap, filling in here and there when a starter was injured. Marlin Jackson 2003 7 An All-American corner in 2002, Jackson moved to safety to solve U-M���s woes, but he didn���t take to the position and went back to corner in 2004. 2003-06 16 Willis Barringer Barringer didn���t have great size or speed but had the intangibles. He was never dominant but played solidly during Michigan���s 11-0 start in 2006. Jacob Stewart 2003 2 Famous for his interception return in a 21-point comeback victory over Minnesota in 2003, Stewart was a career backup. 2003-04 23 Ernest Shazor An All-American in 2004, Shazor was a ferocious run defender, putting fear into ball carriers that entered his domain. He was a coverage handicap, though. 2004, ���06 17 Ryan Mundy One of the top safety prospects in the class of 2003, Mundy was as close to a sure thing as could be recruited. But then, he didn���t deliver. Brandent Englemon 2005-07 26 A two-star from Kentucky, Englemon had a terrific football IQ, compensating for his lack of high-end athletic ability. He struggled against teams with top-tier athletes. Jamar Adams 2005-07 29 Adams didn���t do any one thing great but did everything well, and he was a better athlete than Barringer and Englemon. Arguably U-M���s most competent safety since 2000. 2005, ���08 15 Brandon Harrison Only 5-9, Harrison was an ideal nickel back but he answered the call at safety twice for Michigan and more than held his own. Stevie Brown 2007-08 12 A scapegoat for the Appalachian State debacle in 2007, Brown surrendered far too many big plays, but he eventually excelled as a linebacker in 2009. Jamar Adams recorded three interceptions en route to secondteam All-Big Ten honors in 2007. Photo by Wolverine Photo Safety Years Starts Donovan Warren 2008 1 A one-game tryout at the position went nowhere, and he moved back to cornerback. Troy Woolfolk 2009 7 Woolfolk moved to cornerback midway through the 2009 season, stunting his potential at safety. He graxded out average to above average in his short stint. Mike Williams 2009 9 Another Wolverine that provided immense hope for the position, Williams fell where so many others before him did ��� an inability to prevent the big play. Jordan Kovacs 2009-11 25 Potentially Michigan���s best safety since Marcus Ray in 1998, Kovacs has quieted critics who harp on his lack of athleticism with consistently high-level play this fall. Cam Gordon 2010 7 Gordon was a work-in-progress ��� he wasn���t the instant success his coaches anticipated ��� when he was moved to linebacker in the middle of 2010. Ray Vinopal 2010 6 Vinopal took over for Gordon and was terribly overmatched last season as a true freshman. Thomas Gordon 2011 4 Early dividends have been promising but still far too early to draw conclusions. ��� Michael Spath October 2011��� ������ the wolverine��� 31

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