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Posted on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

Ex-Penn State commit Ross Douglas joins Michigan 28 hours after Nittany Lions hammered by NCAA sanctions

By Kyle Meinke

Elite cornerback recruit Ross Douglas decommitted from Penn State on Monday, just hours after the NCAA levied significant sanctions against the Nittany Lions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

The Michigan football team wasted little time making its move for Douglas, offering him Tuesday morning. By the afternoon, he had joined the class.


Ross Douglas, right, dropped his commitment to Penn State and committed to Michigan shortly after the announced heavy sanctions on PSU.

Photo courtesy of

Douglas announced via Twitter he has committed to the Wolverines' 2013 class. The Avon, Ohio, native is a four-star recruit and ranked by Rivals as the 22nd-best cornerback in the country.

He is the first player or recruit to defect from the Nittany Lions after they were hammered by NCAA penalties, which include the forfeiture of 10 scholarships annually for four years and a four-year bowl ban.

Ross' official announcement came about 28 hours after the NCAA released its penalties.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said Tuesday he spoke extensively with football coach Brady Hoke about the Wolverines' strategy as it relates to the Penn State sanctions, which include waiving the one-year wait period for current players who wish to transfer.

Of course, the recruits also are fair game, since they can't sign binding national letters of intent until Feb. 6.

"This is all fresh and very new, and I can tell you I spent a fair amount of time on the phone with (Hoke) yesterday in the aftermath of the announcement," Brandon said before a golf outing with Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis. "One thing I can tell you is that we're never going to make public statements about our recruiting strategies or tactics.

"This is a brand new set of circumstances that nobody has really dealt with in this way, and we're kind of trying to find our way through it."

Michigan now has five defensive backs committed to its 2013 class, after taking four in its previous two classes. It took six in 2010, so although five is a lot, it is not unprecedented.

The Wolverines' class now stands at 23 commits, and is expected to have room for about one more pledge, barring attrition.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:17 a.m.

The Stonum - Toussant Foundation is committed to providing "room for more" on this team, so Michigan will probably end up with six more new players.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

Don't forget Frank "Grabby Fingers" Clark, intercepting footballs in the Sugar Bowl and Macbooks in the off-season.

Larry Weisenthal

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 5:18 a.m.

It's just a sad state of affairs. Penn State deserved the sanctions. But the current student athletes didn't deserve to be punished for the sins of the prior coaches and administrators. I have tremendous respect for the PSU recruits who will elect to stick it out and work to rebuild their program, from the ground up. They'll have something of which to be proud for the rest of their lives. I was actually hoping that all of the PSU recruits would decide to stick it out together, along with their coach, who thus far has come across as a very class act. I understand, though, why a kid would want to leave, and I don't blame Hoke for doing what football coaches tend to do. But I really can't feel all that good about this particular recruit. - Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

I agree with Larry. I think the penalties go overboard in penalizing the innocent, including fans. This is an unusual situation where a few people made grievous errors, are dismissed and facing prosecution and those left, who may have known nothing about this get hammered for the acts of the guilty. It is kind of like implying that the entirety of PSU is as guilty as the few who decided to act inappropriately. So this just a signal to all other schools to keep your programs clean, which is the sole benefit. One thing I wonder is are the dismissed assistants on the coaching staff facing suspensions? I would expect if anyone of the coaches knew, they all know and none came forward, so should they be able to get jobs elsewhere?


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 8:10 a.m.

Who on USC's team deserves the sanctions they are getting? How about OSU? The nature of penalties is to affect the program; there are always people affected who weren't part of the problem. Should Michigan never accept decommits from any other school? This kid is in the 2013 class, he's not even a senior in high school. Can't he change his mind without us moralizing his decision?

Terry Star21

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

This is good news for Ross of course. Michigan waited a day after he decommitted, showing the class of America's premier college football team. USA Today reported this morning that a Penn State player reported he was contacted by Trick Saban just hours after the NCAA sanctions announcement - showing absolutely no class, like a sub par inner-program preparing for a loss September first against the mighty Wolverines. No class saban, 0-1 to start the season. Priceless. Ross America's best.

lindsay erin

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:52 a.m.

"...from the Nittany Lions after they were hammered by NCAA penalties, which include the forfeiture of 10 scholarships annually for four years and a four-year bowl ban." I thought the penalties included the forfeiture of *20* scholarships annually? Despite the circumstances of Ross Douglas's commitment, it's exciting to hear that he has chosen to play for the U-M football program. GO BLUE!

Robert Granville

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:27 p.m.

They can add 15 players each year. Year 1 they can have 75 total. Years 2-4 they are limited to 65 total. That's the 20.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:21 p.m.

Take that USC (sorry, am still upset that we fell to #2 in the rivals 2013 team recruiting rankings)


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:55 p.m.

RWB: 1) USC has an amazing group, but they are also almost done. They're only going to be able to take 18 total because of NCAA sanctions (and even that number is only possible be using early entries to technically count a few against a different year's class). 2) It's not *only* the number of recruits, if you look at how large the "total point" gap is between UM and other schools that have a similar number of commits (like a couple of the Texas schools). Michigan figures to finish in the top 5 of all of the recruiting class rankings, and might still squeak in as # 1 in one of them (depending on who their last 1 or 2 recruits are). After all, they're still # 1 on Scout, even though USC has passed them on Rivals and ESPN.

Terry Star21

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:07 a.m.

Good bluein.. And Azwolverine, right on. You know USC could double our recruits, yet on-field wouldn't have a chance.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:44 a.m.

RW: We'll see - the kids might not pan out and all bets are off if any get injured. But holy moly, they've got some talent coming in. I wonder if PSU can pull the same trick under the auspices of early playing time.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

we were only #1 because of the large number of recruits. USC will kick everyone's tail in the end based on their average rating per recruit.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

Yeah, it'd be nice to be considered #1 in the recruiting rankings, but in the end it doesn't really matter. Michigan's doing well in recruiting and, in the end, I feel like Michigan's staff is better than USC's and will therefore get more out of their class than USC anyway.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

USC's recruiting class is unbelievable; they deserve to be #1.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

Fantastic. Every player we get from Penn State, Michigan can add a scholarship. It would also be nice if we could get a RB and a DE so Hoke could start canning guys who commit felonies (stealing computers , running red lights drunk). Darryl Stonum took the university on a 4 years all expense paid ride and did nothing but screw up the team and waste a scholarship. Now he's on a freebee at Baylor. Hoke should learn from that experience and the Penn State de- commits are a golden opportunity to can some dead weight while snatching a few PS de commits.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:38 p.m.

He's a recruit, not a former PSU player, therefore there will not be an additional scholarship because he joined. If Michigan does snag any current PSU players, they can surpass the scholarship limits, but will lose a scholarship next year. However, if they take on any seniors, I don't believe they would be penalized next year for it.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

welcome to MICHIGAN. . . ROSS DOUGLAS!! GO BLUE!!!

Blue Marker

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 7:55 p.m.

Welcome Mr. Douglas! I love that Michigan is making its presents known in Ohio again. Coach Carr did okay but not great there. RR took what Tessel left him. But this staff is recruiting Ohio like Bo and Mo did. Some of the greatest players to ever don the winged helmet were from Ohio and I think Hoke & Co. are doing an excellent job there! Go Blue!

Terry Star21

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

Blue, we know what you mean. Great HS players in ohio, but poor college teams.

Bruce Kennedy

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 9:20 p.m.

Oh God pleas no! No presents, I hope Hoke isn't using "presents" while recruiting in Ohio. Michigan doesn't need any grief like that. That would clearly be a violation of NCAA rules. It is ok, however, if Hoke's presence is known in Ohio. GO BLUE!!!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 7:41 p.m.

Although the article does not specify whether or not Ross Douglas had a visit to Michigan in his recruiting process, I would and will assume that he has been to campus. He probaly met the coaching staff and got the formal presentation. This kid is a 2013 recruit and the article does state that LOI are not signed until Feb 6th (2013). It sounds to me that this kid wasted very little time committing to Michigan. It seems that there may not have been a ton of effort to land him. Bottom line: he more than likely came knocking on Brady Hoke's door rather than Brady trying to bust his way into Douglas' door. GO BLUE!!


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

He has not had an "official visit". By definition, none of the 2013 recruits have had one of those. From what I've read on the Scout site, he was one of the recruits in A2 for the UM - ND game last fall. It sounds like that weekend was the only time that he has been on campus, though.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

It is my understanding that Ross called coach, coach reoffered and he later tweeted he verbal. Go Blue!!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 9:02 p.m.

That's what I am hearing: he has not visited, yet. Amazing. I would have thought he'd taken one visit prior to making this decision. Wow!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

i don't think RD visited MICHIGAN during his recruitment? i have read that he visited ND last thursday and WISCONSIN last sunday. he is coming to the BBQ this coming sunday and that is his first visit to MICHIGAN. RIVALS as of today has MICHIGAN ranked 2nd in the country! GO BLUE!!!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:16 p.m.

He has not visited. He has one year of high school left.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 7:03 p.m.

Why is it scavenging? Why shouldn't Douglas have a shot at playing for a national title just like every other top recruit? The NCAA decided to pretty much rid Penn State of its football program for a while. Douglas didn't make the decision to harm any children or cover up the story. He shouldn't have to pay the price.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:27 p.m.

Macabre, don't be so defensive. Nobody said it's wrong to scavenge the pickings from another schools tragedy. I say Mich. should scavenge whatever they can off of fair pickings. Heck, the King of scavenging is now the head coach at ohio. Brady has almost filled up the 2013 roster, I hope he didn't jump the gun with a lot of availability still out there. We could use another running back. We have quite a collection of running backs but I'm guessing that Coach has a particular style of back in mind which is not in abundance at present.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

Please don't misunderstand my comment, I'll take talent however it comes and completely agree that when circumstances at a university change, the college athlete has every right to seek opportunity elsewhere. I only said 'scavenging' because of the way that it's been characterized in the media. It's similar to a rich relative dying and during the memorial service, people are talking about who gets what. Initially, there was talk of Silas Redd going to USC, then within a few hours, Toussaint is suspended indefinitely. I'm curious if that makes Redd consider Michigan in that decision, as well.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

Agreed that the scavenging of PSUs best players does feel a little dirty, but with the news of Toussaint, doesn't it make the decision of Silas Redd a little more interesting? Anyone hearing Michigan come up in that conversation?


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

I agree, AZ. Still a kid. Made a mistake. Make the punishment fit the crime.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

Active players, maybe, but this guy is a recruit still 7 months from signing any kind of a commitment. He's just the first of many who will decommit, good for M to pick him up.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:42 p.m.

Douglas was a recruit (decommitted at that) and is hardly one of "PSUs best players". I'm fine with taking these kinds of players. Not interested in any current PSU players - they wanted to be at PSU, they will get a great education for free, they will still get good coaching and national exposure and will still get a chance to play in the NFL.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

I think the comments about Fitz are harsh. Yes, he made a boneheaded mistake that could have cost someone their life. Thank God it didn't. That said, he is still young and, as far as I know, that is his first offense of this nature. He's in college, for goodness sakes, and college is a place where young people are supposed to learn lessons that will help them in life. Rather than simply throwing him off the team, as some are suggesting, why not give him the opportunity to learn from this experience? If he doesn't, THEN kick him off. Unless we're perfect ourselves, let's resist the urge to be so quick to judge. I personally hope that, after serving his suspension, whatever that might be, Fitz is allowed to come back to the program and given an opportunity to EARN his spot back.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

Silas Redd would be great- then throw Fritz off the team. Get a DE then throw Frank Clark off the team. This is Michigan. we've had problems in the past but nothing like this. It's embarrassing. Were are not OSU or Miami. We're Michigan.

Blue Marker

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

I'd thought the same thing but not a word.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

I'd feel better if Ross Douglas came to us from out of the conference under these particular circumstances. Under these circumstances I feel that Mich. is scavenging in some strange way. Oh well, "All's fair in love and war".


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:07 p.m.

I wouldn't call it scavenging. Douglas decommitted before Michigan reoffered him.

Blue Marker

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 7:47 p.m.

I get what you're saying, it's like taking money out of a dead mans wallet. But another way to look at it is the PSU he wanted to go to is no longer there. Luckily for him there is another school with great tradition, a huge stadium and in driving distance for mom and dad.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:02 p.m.

Goodbye Leon McQuay III. I hope you tear it up at Vandy!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

Defense? Who needs defense??


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:22 p.m.

Our players. they need defense attorneys. Scavange Penn State all we can and throw some thugs off the team!!!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

Winners of the Big Ten.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

Winners of National Championships


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

9 DB recruits in the past 2 classes...That's music to my ears after the past few seasons.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

We still need a couple of defensive lineman. Whose penn state got. We get those and the skies the limit.