The Wolverine

September 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 71 of 99

COMMITMENT PROFILE High defensive back Ross Douglas thought he knew his plans for the next level. The 5-10, 180-pound cornerback would be playing his college football at Penn State University. He commit- ted to the Nittany Lions Feb. 29, and was set to join the program in January 2013 as an early enrollee. That all changed with the release Penn State Decommit Ross Douglas Makes Quick Decision For U-M As recently as July 22, Avon (Ohio) pect of a four-year bowl ban should he stick to his Penn State commitment, re-opened his recruitment July 23. He wasn't on the market for long. He touched base with Michigan de- fensive coordinator Greg Mattison the next day, and his re-recruitment came to a quick end. "That 24-hour stretch was probably of investigator Louis Freeh's report on the crimes committed by former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry San- dusky — and the subsequent cover- up by then-head coach Joe Paterno and a number of administrators in the athletic department and univer- sity in State College. The NCAA acted swiftly, levying heavy sanctions on Penn State. Douglas, facing the pros- to his movement that allows him to change direction effortlessly and stick in wide receivers' hip pockets. He is solid in coverage, and can play both man-to-man and zone schemes. On offense, he shows very quick Strengths: Douglas has a fluidity FILM EVALUATION feet — which will also help him in the secondary — and enough top-end speed to pull away from defenders. Areas of Improvement: Since the craziest 24 hours of my life," said Douglas, who is listed as a four-star prospect, the No. 15 player in Ohio, the No. 22 cornerback nationally and the No. 222 overall player in the class of 2013 by "Michigan of- fered me right after I committed to Penn State, and I didn't know if I still had that offer on the table. I called Coach Mattison, and he said my offer was still on the table at Michigan and they wanted me to be a Wolverine still. I talked it over with my dad, and then an hour and a half later, I committed." When Douglas initially committed to Penn State in February, he had not yet been offered by Michigan. The Wolverines came in shortly after his pledge to the Nittany Lions, but by then it was too late. Despite not hold- ing an offer from them the first time he committed, Douglas admits Michigan came in second for his services at that time. The unfortunate situation in Happy Douglas is a smaller corner, he will have to maintain excellent tech- nique in order to succeed against the physical wideouts he will face in the Big Ten. He has been primar- ily an offensive player in his career, and that technique will develop with the coaching he receives in college. Douglas will also need to add weight to be an effective tackler after the catch or in run support at the next level. Michigan Player Comparison: rates Douglas as a four-star recruit, the 15th-best prospect in the Buckeye State, the country's No. 22 cor- nerback and the No. 222 overall player in the land. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM and off the field," Elder said. "Char- acter is not a question mark with this young man." Douglas joins four other defensive Valley re-opened the door for the Wol- verines, and this time they made the most of it. "It was a really easy decision," Douglas said. "I had a lot of interest in them, but it was just one of those situations. I thought Penn State was a better situation for me at the time, but I'm just glad I'm a Wolverine today and it all worked out." While Michigan offered Douglas for his play on the field, his character off Douglas Courtney Avery (2010-present) is a similarly sized corner, and one who starred on the offensive side of the ball in high school, as well. Add in that the rising junior is a fel- low Buckeye State native, and the similarities are uncanny. Avery has played significantly in his first two years on campus, including nine starts to date. — Analysis from 72 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2012 "I thought Penn State was a better situation for me at the time, but I'm just glad I'm a Wolverine today and it all worked out." it made the decision easier. His 1,000- plus rushing yards (and subsequent Division 2 All-Ohio third-team honor at running back) caught Mattison's attention on the gridiron, and the ring- ing endorsement of Avon head coach Mike Elder sealed the deal. "Ross is a team captain and a kid we can count on to do the right thing on seeing plenty of playing time in his Michigan career. After all, the U-M coaching staff moved to immediately snatch him up, even with highly rated prospects such as five-star Kendall Fuller and four-star Leon McQuay III still on the table. The odds are in favor of Douglas — Tim Sullivan backs in the recruiting class, including three cornerbacks. He'll compete with Detroit Cass Tech four-star Jourdan Lewis, Massillon (Ohio) Washington three-star Gareon Conley and Mat- thews (N.C.) Butler two-star Channing Stribling for playing time. He has the work ethic to more than hold his own in that competition. "No one can outwork the young man," Edler said, "and he certainly has got the God-given ability to do a great job and be a really good player in the Big Ten."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - September 2012