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Posted on Thu, Aug 19, 2010 : 10:43 p.m.

Here's how the Michigan football team plans to replace Troy Woolfolk

By Pete Bigelow


Sophomore safety Teric Jones (above) moved to cornerback from safety last week to compensate for Justin Turner's departure from the Michigan football team. Coach Rich Rodriguez said another safety is likely to move over after cornerback Troy Woolfolk's injury. ( file photo)

The Michigan football team is making arrangements to play without senior cornerback Troy Woolfolk.

Details of his serious ankle injury are still unknown, but Rich Rodriguez said Thursday he’ll make moves within the defensive backfield to strengthen the team’s depth at cornerback.

“Our free safeties and our corners are in the same meeting room, so I think they know each other’s positions anyway,” Rodriguez said. “We have some good, young athletes there."

Only existing defensive backs are under consideration for moves to corner. Although Rodriguez has found success in converting receivers to secondary positions before -- Cam Gordon, for one -- such moves are not under consideration now, he said.

Overall, Rodriguez said Woolfolk’s injury “elevates the sense of urgency for the young guys to get ready.” He didn't name them, but true freshmen Cullen Christian and Courtney Avery, both cornerbacks, could see action this fall. Turnover time In 2009, few teams fared worse in the turnover department than the Wolverines. The offense coughed up the ball 28 times, while the defense only registered 16 takeaways. Only 10 defenses in the country recorded fewer, according to the Big Ten Network.

The -12 margin was the worst in the Big Ten. (By comparison, Michigan State was second-worst with a -6 margin).

Suffice to say, turnovers have been a big emphasis in summer camp. So far, Rodriguez likes what he sees.

“I don’t know if we have had a fumble in the last couple of days,” he said Thursday. “We’ve thrown the ball pretty well -- not as well as we need to -- but we’ve really done a good job taking care of the ball.”

Wanted: A preseason opponent The Wolverines will scrimmage Saturday at Michigan Stadium. It will be the coaches’ first real look at how some of the position competitions are shaping up.

“We have no way to really measure until we play a game,” Rodriguez lamented. “If there’s one rule we could change, I wish we could have an exhibition game against someone else.”

Extra points

  • Rodriguez said it was possible true freshman Devin Gardner could win the starting quarterback job. Asked if it was likely, Rodriguez said, “Possible is a better word.” …
  • Seth Broekhuizen is serving as the team’s backup punter, behind true freshman Will Hagerup. Rodriguez has rested the kickers a little more in recent days because he doesn’t want them to over-kick. …
  • Aside from Woolfolk, the team hasn’t suffered any other serious injuries during summer camp. “For lack of a better word, there’s ‘typical’ camp injuries, they’re banged up or sore or missing a practice or two,” Rodriguez said. Maybe one or two players, including linebacker Jonas Mouton, will miss Saturday’s scrimmage, according to Rodriguez.


Robbie Webb.

Sun, Aug 22, 2010 : 9:47 a.m.

Couch. Are you serious? This is without question a RR problem it has been since he was hired. ''A rebuilding program? Why is that? How many seasons did Coach BO or Mo or Carr have to rebuild? The problem was RR dismantled a program that did not have to be dismantled period. Coach Carr last 2 seasons were 11-2 and 9-4...yeah we were no good we had to dismantle.'' They didn't have to rebuild. That was back in the day where running the football 24/7 was the way to go, there was no need for the spread. Times have changed. Pay attention. Stop comparing Bo and Carr (Veteran coaches who were there for more than two years)to Rich Rodriguez, who has only been there for two. And with a handicapped roster to top it off. Yes, yes, yes, I know, the defense in 08 wasn't young, blah, blah, blah. But the only real experience that year was on the line mostly and that was never the problem to begin with. And 3 and out, Austin White is still with the football team and even if he wasn't, it's not a huge loss and I wouldn'lose sleep about it.


Sat, Aug 21, 2010 : 10:33 p.m.

Rumors abound when a team is going nowhere. End of season finish will be near the bottom of the Big 10. Actually, it very well could be 11th. I cannot think of a worse team in the Big 10. It was going to be Indiana, but they look as good as UM. It was going to be NW, but their track record is better than UM over the last 2-5 years. It's not Purdue; they beat OSU last year. It's not Illinois - they have too much talent and give UM fits. It looks like 11th place to me.


Sat, Aug 21, 2010 : 1:17 p.m.

Couch. Are you serious? This is without question a RR problem it has been since he was hired. A rebuilding program? Why is that? How many seasons did Coach BO or Mo or Carr have to rebuild? The problem was RR dismantled a program that did not have to be dismantled period. Coach Carr last 2 seasons were 11-2 and 9-4...yeah we were no good we had to dismantle.


Sat, Aug 21, 2010 : 6:09 a.m.

3 and out- This has nothing to do with other players nor does it have to do with me rationalizing. I was simply stating that his brother is a hot head and makes pretty poor decisions so I was hoping that it isn't the case in this scenario. If that is the case, than let him walk. Michigan doesn't need players like that. (I would assume you guys that jumped all over the Dorsey recruitment would agree with me on this) I have also been following this team as long as I remember and I also remember a lot of players under Lloyd Carr that left or weren't admitted or even got kicked off the team. It just wasn't made a huge deal every time a true frosh with potential to be a contributor got kicked off or left or simply not admitted because they were winning. This is NOT a RR issue like you want to make it. It is a rebuilding program that is sorting out the players that want to stay and those that aren't cut out for the work needed to play. I agree with Gravie as he states "I welcome more defection from quitters. SEC teams reduce their rosters by over-signing and cutting players. Michigan makes you work really hard and lets you cut yourself." (most of the defection thus far) That being said, I am glad this is a moot topic and that he is still at U of M and hope he does develop as a key contributor in the backfield, I just don't see it happening. mlive- this is not a personal attack per say, I am just trying to explain myself because i feel i was misunderstood, its a great conversation i think.


Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 6:29 p.m.

Orlandomichfan is right for the bashers here, but wrong on Austin White. A tough kid this freshman is. Enough said.

Lorain Steelmen

Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 3:51 p.m.

Orlandomichfan & PortageLkBlu..Great posts!..and I agree with BOTH of you! Michigan will be just fine, W or WO, Mr White. It's a sad commentary on our times, at ALL schools, that kids want to 'start', and when forced to earn/work their way up, many will 'jump ship' and go where they think the grass is 'greener'. So be it! Hey, UM is dealing with that. I for one, think RR is just what Michigan needed, but he has been faced with changing BOTH the offense, conceptually, AND the soft, countryclub culture, he inherited from Carr. I say, the Wolves', first two games are the key. If they can win those two, they'll beat MSU and Iowa. They'll struggle at OSU, at PSU (both possible, but long shots), and home against Wisconsin. But if they can possess the ball against the Badgers, they'll go 10-2, if not, they finish 9-3. Go Blue! Bring home a BIG TEN title in 2010!

Jim Knight

Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 3:40 p.m.

The Austin White chatter appears to be just a rumor. Dave Ablauf, a spokesman for the Michigan football program, said this afternoon that White is member of the football team.

Garvie Craw

Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 3:25 p.m.

Austin White was a Rivals 3 star player - the kind the haters like to crow about Michigan being "reduced" to taking under Rich Rod. Now that there is a rumor of his quitting, he is transformed into a great prospect who it will be impossible to replace. Haters gonna hate.

Sean T.

Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 1:50 p.m.

Orlando, Austin White is very talented and he was more versatile than any of the other backs on the roster. It is true that he is a hothead but he is a good student and heck of a ball-player. You are right that players leave college programs all the time and we must not panic and especially if they are because of disciplinary reasons. Leathercouch, Austin White has another brother that plays at MSU that is a really good kid and is mild tempered. It is true that his brother Myles was in trouble and transferred to another program but don't say the whole family is full of bad apples. When has the UofM ever recruited so,so players?

Jaxon Boyfriend

Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 12:02 p.m.

Doesn't matter - we're Michigan, someone comes up and fills the gap. It will be someone whom will be able to intercept a pass (Wolfolk had 0 last year).


Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 11:18 a.m.

orlandomichfan thank you, your on the money and yes it's at a point where some folks are sounding not only redundant but ridiculous sad to say. RR is doing just fine and the season has yet to start. Look, if the process runs it's course and RR doesn's work out, the bosses will pink slip RR and we'll get a new coach, it's a simple process boys and girls nothing to get your panties in a bunch and I'll also say that no matter what, most of the world doesn't care. Look the first game is about to kick off, get your hot dogs and peanuts, have a cool one, sit back and enjoy the game. If that young man couldn't handle the coolest college football venue in the country let the boy walk I don't care maybe he just missed his momma to much it happens you know almost happened to Anthony Carter his freshman year. Anthony got homesick and decided to leave the team and go home to Florida. Bo caught up with Anthony before the flight via telephone at the airport and Anthony promised Bo he would talk with Bo before he left. Anthony hung up and ran and jumped on the plane with no goodbye. Over the next few days Bo stayed in touch with Anthony's mother and eventually Anthony came back and the rest as they say is history. Quotes from the book, BO. What is the point here boys and girls? The point is, there is no point, ---- happens!

Garvie Craw

Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 10:28 a.m.

With the level of talent coming out of Ohio next year and Ohio State's limited number of scholarships, I welcome more defection from quitters. SEC teams reduce their rosters by oversigning and cutting players. Michigan makes you work really hard and lets you cut yourself.

Garvie Craw

Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 10:23 a.m.

If this is true, 3 And Out has it right. White QUIT the team.


Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 10:18 a.m.

a player only looks good to you if you think he's leaving the team... otherwise you bash him and talk smack... great post again... not...stay tuned for as the (bowl) turns... go blue...


Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 8:11 a.m.

whats wrong with you people???? austin white for your info was not a real i would say to ''3 and out'' and you other r.r. bashers should do your homework..its almost like you all just troll on here and salivatate when something happens at michigan that happens at other schools across the country all the time..2 Florida football players left the team this past Monday, Texas lost 1 last Friday, Oklahoma lost 1 last Friday also. heck even ucf lost 1 this i need to say more.. my god people, let the season run its course. get behind your team..if they win 8 games or more then you all will be back on the wagon..such fair-weather fans, i have never seen anything like it..if you all get your way and r.r. gets fired, this program will sink further and be in more of a disaray and i will make sure to remind all you doomers that this is what you wanted..but it will be to deaf ears as you all will just be singing the same tune, just different towards a differant coach. people and your hate for r.r. is mindboggling.. GOOOOOOOOOOOO BLUE!!!true fans got your back!!!!!

3 And Out

Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 4:22 a.m.

leathercouch...enough of the excuses and rationalizations OK? Every time a player leaves Rodriguez program people like you come here to try to justify it with excuses.. and mlive...this is not an attack on leathercouch per say...its just the fact that Ive been following Michigan football since age 4 and have never seen such a disaster as what is happening now under RR but more importantly there is an element of younger fans who look at this program and simply write off the problems without looking at the real issue here: Rich Rodriguez... that is a fact and im not that old...just smart enough to call it like is...can you?


Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 3:30 a.m.

Michigans lack of depth can be contributed to Rich Rod. If Hagerup gets hurt then there's serious problems. Gardner has to play as one senses Tate will walk. If it's true about Austin White then that's huge as on Big Ten preview show he looked really good. Nothing surprises me with Rich Rod.


Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 2:27 a.m.

Even if true...Austin White wasnt vaunted. and his brother/cousin Miles White got caught up in legal issues at Misdemeanor State I posted awhile back about him and said if he stayed out of trouble he could be alright but that a big If as a lot of times legal issues surround an entire family not just 1 bad egg. that being said, I hope for this kid that this is not a true story. He would be throwing away a great opportunity at top notch education and football. But if its an attitude issue let him walk.

Sean T.

Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 1:08 a.m.

Say it ain't so!

3 And Out

Fri, Aug 20, 2010 : 1:03 a.m.

The word tonight is that Austin White, another vaunted RR recruit quit the team today. Another RR recruit bites the dust. What a disaster in Ann Arbor.