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Posted on Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 3:39 p.m.

Michigan cornerback Donovan Warren to declare for draft

By Dave Birkett

Michigan cornerback Donovan Warren said Sunday he will declare for the NFL draft.

Warren does not have an agent yet, but plans to sign with Drew Rosenhaus this week.

"Just trying to do what’s best for me in the long run and for me and my family at this point in time," Warren said. "I just feel like it’s the right decision and the right move to make at this point in time to take me to the next level and just focus on getting ready for the combine."

Warren, who led the Michigan football team with 4 interceptions this year, said he informed head coach Rich Rodriguez and secondary coach Tony Gibson of his decision Sunday.

"Coach Rod was real supportive," Warren said. "Of course they wanted me to stay, but they understood the opportunity I have for my family and to go and live the dream."

Warren said the NFL's underclassman advisory board projected him as a first- through third-round pick in April's draft.

An AFC scout told earlier this fall that Warren, the No. 2 cornerback in the junior class according to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., likely would go somewhere in the middle rounds.

"Once I got that back I pretty much just knew it was going to be up to me and how I worked out," Warren said. "It's a risk taking a chance of leaving early, but it’s a risk also staying. I just feel better about my chances of leaving, putting the pressure on me."

While Warren's departure was largely expected, it leaves Michigan with a gaping hole in the secondary next year.

Boubacar Cissoko was the only other cornerback to intercept a pass last season, and he was kicked off the team mid-year for violating team rules.

Cissoko is trying to regain his eligibility, but the Wolverines could start 2 freshman at cornerback next season. Four-star recruit Cullen Christian said the opportunity for immediate playing time was one reason he committed to the Wolverines last month, and J.T. Turner should be in the mix after redshirting this year.

Warren said he was "disappointed at the way the season ended the past 2 years," but excited about his NFL future.

"It’ll set me up for a lifetime as far as money and just taking care of my family," he said. "Not saying we’re struggling or anything like that, but it’s just the opportunity I’ve been working hard for my whole life and it’s right in front of me, so I want to take advantage of it while I can."

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 7:25 p.m.

Matt,how about we look since the National Championship Era (NCE).When the NCAA set up were u need to play a more challenging schedules and win to be a NC. That started in 1935,and the records since has PENN ST,OHIO ST and OKLAHOMA all ahead of Michigan in wins and winning percentage, even though Michigan still played all there games at home for the first 15 years of it.Then add on that since the NCE UM only has 1 NC, MSU has 3. UM made there mark when they could play small puny schools, all at home, and pre NCE.Since then they aren't the best at anything! Numbers dont lie, but liars use numbers.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 7:11 p.m.

With Rosenhaus as his agent, money won't be a problem if he produces in his first couple of years.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 1:48 p.m.

Although it would be hard for me to counsel any player with a chance to play in the NFL to return to what will probably be another poor defensive team next year, Warren needs another year of college ball to improve his game. Although he improved from his disappointing sophomore year, he still was far from a "lock down" corner. I think end of the 2nd round will be the highest he'd be picked. And it may be later, which would not really justify coming out early. I hope I'm wrong and he goes a lot earlier and does well in the NFL.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 1:10 p.m.

I'm laughing at all the Anti-Michigan people who have nothing better to do with their lives then come on and post crap. You guys are some big haters and need a reality check. All Time wins Michigan #1 All Time Winning Percentage Michigan #1 I guess when you're the best you have a lot of haters. =)


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 12:48 p.m.

Warren will be missed, but he was burned just as much as the other guys. Another of Lloyd's kids is leaving. RR will soon have all of his own kids and that is a good thing going forward!


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 11:50 a.m.

BlueinSC, Amen. In MICHIGAN we trust.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 9:47 a.m.

@ birch creek john: Those of us with long memories remember that Bo won the Big 10 in his first year by beating OSU in the memorable '69 game, and went to the Rose Bowl... This all occurred despite a lot of players leaving the team due to the transition... And in year 2 of the Bo era, he led UM to a 9-0 record before falling to OSU... RichRod has won 8 games in his two year career at UM!!! Enough said...


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 9:43 a.m.

I always thought Warren should have transferred after last season to a place like USC where he would have had 2 years of eligibility left... he would have had to sit out this season (USC's worst), but he would have seen the field in 2010 and could have assessed his NFL options then...

birch creek john

Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 9:41 a.m.

Most of you are too young to remember this, but in your haste to demand a "Michigan Man" at the helm for The University of Michigan you forget that Bo was not a Michigan man. He came from Ohio, and was, in fact, a disciple of Woody Hayes. He too, like Mr. Rodgiruez, was pretty rough around the edges. The footbball team will begin winning soon; remember, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 9:26 a.m.



Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 8:30 a.m.

Theo212, You have to have a set, or it really doesn't matter if you get kicked in the groin. After all, this is Michigan we are talking about?


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 8:24 a.m.

Tater, You've already downgraded your prediction for next year. On Friday you said 9-3. Now you are at 8-4? Thats alright, by next fall you will be a more realistic 6-6. Stock up on the Kool-aid, you are going to need it.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 8:05 a.m.

What a pathetic program Michigan football has become. Any team on Michigan's schedule for 2010 will be able to hang up at least 300 yards of passing on this defense. This team will NOT be a.500 team. The only bright spot is that it will be the end of a 3-year era of darkness in Ann Arbor. IN MICHIGAN WE TRUST


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 3:24 a.m.

He could go undrafted, but may get picked up after round 8. I think it is a mistake but the only one who knows what is best for him, is himself. Good luck in the NFL. Michigan defense was not going to be that good even if Warren came back. May be some of the young kids will step up in the secondary and set us up for 2011!

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 1:46 a.m.

Costly advice for Warren. He will not sniff the first or second round. Workout warriors rarely do well at corner, especially those who regressed, then came out early.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 1:25 a.m.

Donovan made the best choice for himself and his family. If Morgan Trent can get solid PT in the NFL this year, which he did...then Donovan Warren certainly can because he is a superior talent. Returning to a poorly coached Michigan team next year and risking injury vs. NFL riches and fun, is not a hard choice to make.


Mon, Dec 21, 2009 : 12:16 a.m.

Another loss of talent on a team with too little. We are going to need a fab five type class to ever get back next year. Last in the big ten this year; 7 or 8th place an improvement yes but will be time for a change. Should require a top 3 finish in big ten for this staff to stay. Last place was just unacceptable. Michigan should never ever be lower that 5th and that should be very rare. There is a reason for term big 2 little 8. Should have never ever been destroyed. This staff will need a run like the Penn State volleyball team to ever make amends.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 11:44 p.m.

Tater--I don't know who you are watching, but Michigan "got it" against OSU? Huh? The only thing they got was their tails kicked. They "got" to see the Big Ten Champs. Yes, they played better than they had against Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, etc, but a loss is a loss. You obviously see a much different team than the rest of us see. I see results on the field. Which have been dreadful particularly since our current coach got hired.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 11:39 p.m.

@ Fresh Its all about the humor mu man. Michigan has become the car wreck that everyone wants to gawk at. Rodriguez has run the Frerrari into a tree.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 11:36 p.m.

tater as much as I admire your unwavering support for us and your disdain for anything green or red, i think you're way over the top on this one. I think we need to learn how to win again. we still will out recruit our little brothers, but i don't see how this leadership will make a team out of the talent. i honestly don't know how RR did so well in his last position based on what i've seen here. at some point this isn't about using strengths and plugging weaknesses, it becomes an issue of whether you have a team. And right now we do not have a team that will go out and believe in themselves and WIN. I hope to hell I'm wrong but need to see it and not just talk about what could be.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 10:48 p.m.

How do so many anti michigan people have nothing to do with ur sorry lifes but come on the A2 site yikes what a life.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 10:01 p.m.

I am usually against players leaving early, but he would be foolish to stay on this team.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 7:57 p.m.

We will miss Donovan Warren. Remember when Ernest Shazor left early? I certainly hope that doesn't happen to Donovan. Good luck in you future endeavors, Donovan.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 6:10 p.m.

Can't blame him for the making the decision with there being no salery cap in the NFL next season, if I am hearing things right. "Michigan Football: Lean on me" video

Sean T.

Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 5:55 p.m.

Warren is a top talent who was not able to shine late in his collegiate career but will show that he is a true NFL DB in the future. "A Bad scheme can change a dream".


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 5:01 p.m.

Leaving early for NFL or transferring. RR has a way to motivate players to leave.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 4:44 p.m.

Not like Grahm or Warren were able to stop anyone from running or throwing all year long. Well maybe Central and Deleware but that's it.


Sun, Dec 20, 2009 : 4:43 p.m.

Graham is an animal and will be sorely missed. Who is this Warren dude? Should be at the top of the 10th round