Michigan cornerback Donovan Warren to declare for draft
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.
"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 AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.