Michigan football safety Ray Vinopal leaves team and other notes
The Michigan football team’s already-thin secondary is down yet another member.
Safety Ray Vinopal, who would have been a sophomore in the fall, has left Michigan for personal reasons.
“Ray decided to go back to Youngstown,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Wednesday. “Had a family issue.”
Hoke did say that Vinopal’s departure was permanent.
The 5-foot-10, 193-pound safety started six games last season, made 33 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and intercepted one pass.
He also played special teams in all 13 games.
Messages seeking comment left at Vinopal’s home in Youngstown, Ohio, and with his high school coach at Cardinal Mooney, P.J. Fecko, were not immediately returned.
No position changes ... for now Hoke said Wednesday he hasn’t made any position switches three practices into his first spring as Michigan’s coach.
“Not right now,” Hoke said. “There may be some later. We’re just kind of looking at it. But not right now.”
He also said he figures to have some sort of depth chart put together by the end of spring camp, but it’ll mostly be fluid entering the fall.
“Nothing’s given,” Hoke said. “You’re going to have to earn it whether you came out as a starter during the spring from what you do all summer from how you work and how you prepare in fall camp.”
Kicking in progress Michigan’s biggest issue last season came from an atrocious kicking game. The Wolverines, between Brendan Gibbons and Seth Broekhuizen, made four of 14 field goals and missed two extra points.
Thus far this spring, Hoke hasn’t gone too deep into the kicking game, but plans to later this week.
“They’re doing OK,” Hoke said. “We haven’t gone full bore into it. We started to on Tuesday, starting doing it yesterday a little more.”
Part of the issue with identifying a kicker is that the rest of the issues around the kicking game — from the snap to the hold to the protection schemes — are also being installed.
“You’re kind of building those blocks together,” Hoke said.
This and that Michigan plans to practice mostly inside during the spring, in part because of the weather and because, unlike during Hoke’s previous time in Ann Arbor, the Wolverines can actually throw deep patterns, kick off and punt in the Glick Field House. They couldn’t do that in Oosterbaan. Sophomore Stephen Hopkins has worked some at fullback through the first few practices. Rocko Khoury has handled the majority of snaps at center with David Molk nursing a hamstring injury.