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Posted on Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : noon

Playing the waiting game with J.T. Turner, Adrian Witty

By Dave Birkett

The longer it takes for incoming Michigan freshmen J.T. Turner and Adrian Witty to make it through the NCAA Clearinghouse, the less likely they are to play a significant role this year. And that could be bad news for the Wolverines’ thin secondary.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said Monday that Turner and Witty need at least two weeks of practice to realistically be ready to contribute in the opener Sept. 5 against Western Michigan.

“If you get three weeks for sure you can get ready,” Rodriguez said. “Less than two it gets a little shaky depending on how quickly they can learn, but they can maybe do some special teams.”

Because neither player was around for spring practice, Rodriguez said it’s tough to gauge how far behind they are and how quickly they’ll pick up the system. He said both players were expected to compete for playing time this year in a secondary that returns just one starter in Donovan Warren.

Turner, from Ohio’s Washington Massillon High, was one of the highest-rated players in Michigan’s 2009 recruiting class. Rodriguez said last month Turner could play either cornerback or safety, but would begin his Michigan career at corner.

Witty, a prep teammate of Denard Robinson’s in Deerfield Beach, Fla., projects as a safety.

“Both of them are playing a position where we don’t have a lot of bodies at DB,” Rodriguez said. “So both of those guys were, I don’t want to say they were on the top of the depth chart, but guys that we wanted to look at early to see if they could contribute. Again, until they’re here, we won’t be able to react to that.”

Still, Rodriguez remains hopeful both will be cleared to practice soon. He kept spots open for both on Michigan’s 105-man reporting roster, and both have stalls waiting in Michigan’s new locker room.

“I’m pretty optimistic and hopefully (Turner’s) will be quicker,” Rodriguez said. “But wait and see.”



Wed, Aug 12, 2009 : 9:59 a.m.

Just a fan here and a voice of reason Mr 18. By the way Michigan did recruit Ginn and most recently Ray Hall. Rrod tried to recruit 5 star offensive tackle Ray Hall who went to OSU. Before throwing stones at Glenville HS how many athletes does Michigan have from the Public schools of Detroit one the worst if not worst school systems in the US.


Wed, Aug 12, 2009 : 7:24 a.m.

Sonofscoot, please tell me you're an OSU fan, because I'd love to throw it in your face about Ray Small...he's supposed to be ineligible at OSU after being at the university for the past 2-3 years with an academic advisor and coaches that should be checking on his status at all times...I heard he really had trouble with that underwater basket weaving class he took over the summer...the best part is his father was quoted as saying that he should be fine once the grade is CHANGED!! NICE JT!!! Oh yeah, and the other guy that is supposedly ineligible Robert Rose from Cleveland Glenville (also where Small is from)...Glenville the OSU pipeline...also produced Ginn and Troy Smith who got passes in college too...what a joke.


Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 8:51 p.m.

happens to every team


Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 6:23 p.m.

If Turner was going to OSU, his OGT test score would be a pass by now. This is just sour grapes on the part of Ohio administrators. It's sorta like how Ohio State Troopers give tickets to cars with Michigan plates for going one mile over the speed limit on gameday.

Dave H

Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 3:21 p.m.

SonofScoot, do you actually have any idea what their academic issues are? Justin Turner, from all reports, has been an excellent student throughout high school. I don't know why he hasn't passed the OGT and don't particularly care to speculate, but this idea that Rich Rodriguez has 'struck again' is idiotic and only survives in the comments sections due to monomaniacal anonymous commenters who view every potentially negative story through the prism of their pre-conceived notions. Players recruited by Lloyd Carr also had academic issues, both before and after enrolling. They also, contrary to the prevailing narrative, had criminal issues with some frequency. I don't know anything about Witty, but the idea that an athlete is in jeopardy of not qualifying isn't exactly a circumstance unique to Rich Rodriguez' tenure. Coaches across the country recruit guys that are one standardized test or a few above average grades away from being Clearinghouse casualties.


Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 12:33 p.m.

Even without these guys, Warren and Cissoko shut down the passing game while Graham and Ezeh do likewise to the running game. And the offense - one word, unstoppable. (Mesko may not have to punt once this year). RR returns "Michigan football" to Michigan this year. 10-2 or better BABY!!!!


Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 12:10 p.m.

Sounds like both kids need to go to a junior college or just get a HS diploma. Rrod has struck again.