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Posted on Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 6:50 p.m.

Michigan solidifies top-20 recruiting class with 2 late commitments, defensive help

By Dave Birkett


Inkster High School quarterback Devin Gardner already is enrolled at Michigan. “I think I have a good chance (to play as a freshman) because I work hard and I’m ready to play,” Gardner said. (Photo: Lon Horwedel |

A late push by North Carolina had Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne defensive tackle Terry Talbott rethinking his recruitment until minutes before he signed his national letter of intent Wednesday.

“Seriously, I’m telling you as of 7:30, 7:45 when he came in my office (Wednesday) morning, he was still probably somewhat teetering, just really didn’t know,” Wayne coach Jay Minton said. “Terry’s a kid that’s not a big ego guy, he’s a pleaser. He wants to make people proud of him, that’s why he works so hard and has such a great work ethic. He doesn’t want to disappoint people, and by allowing North Carolina in, now he was going to disappoint someone.”

At 8:03 a.m., three minutes after Wayne’s signing day press conference was supposed to begin, Talbott reaffirmed his summer commitment to Michigan once and for all.


Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez declined to talk about which of his incoming recruits might see playing time in the 2010 season. “That’s like, I’ve got two beautiful children, tell me which child do you like better,” Rodriguez said. (Photo: Lon Horwedel |

He joined his brother, Terrence, a cornerback, and 25 other recruits in pledging for the Wolverines in what was a relatively quiet (for once) first Wednesday in February.

Blue-chip safety prospect Demar Dorsey of Florida also chose the Wolverines over Florida State in a signing-day surprise, while four-star prospect Sean Parker of California picked Washington over Michigan and USC.

Dorsey, ranked the No. 2 safety in the nation by, committed to Florida early in the process, but that pledge fizzled in recent weeks.

His signing solidified Michigan’s class among the nation’s 20 best. ranked the Wolverines’ haul 12th, put it 19th and rated Michigan No. 20. All three services ranked the Wolverines among the top three in the Big Ten.

“Everybody wants to rank a certain recruiting class or kind of put a stigma or something on the guys coming in,” Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said. “This sounds like coach speak, but you really need to wait a couple years and then determine how good the class is.

“I’ve had recruiting classes before that weren’t ranked anywhere in the top 25 or 30 and they wound up leading the team to a top-five ranking in the country and winning a BCS bowl, so I think you have to be careful about all that. But obviously if we signed them, we think they’re great fits here for our football program or for our university and we’re excited to have them.”

Michigan’s class has a distinct defensive flavor, with 16 players on that side of the ball.

Dorsey, a 6-foot, 175-pound defensive back whose cousin is Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, is the headliner. Rodriguez said Dorsey will start his career at cornerback, but also can play safety.


Pioneer High School's Ricardo Miller, a wide receiver, is enrolled at Michigan. (Photo: Lon Horwedel |

“If Calvin Magee was the lead recruiter, Denard was the second lead recruiter on him,” Rodriguez said. “Denard looks like he’s going to have a future in recruiting, for sure.”

Rodriguez wouldn’t single out any recruits as candidates for early playing time - “That’s like, I’ve got two beautiful children, tell me which child do you like better?” he said - but Dorsey, cornerback Cullen Christian and safety Marvin Robinson are three players who could help immediately in Michigan’s thin secondary.

“I would think anybody, particularly at the positions on defense, where we have thin numbers, are going to get a real good look early,” Rodriguez said. “They’re all going to get a look, but those guys at those positions defensively may be on the two-deep just because that’s all the numbers we have there.”

Seven offensive recruits already have enrolled in classes and will take part in spring practice, including Devin Gardner, the nation’s top-ranked dual-threat quarterback according to

Rodriguez said Gardner will compete with incumbent Tate Forcier and backup Denard Robinson for the starting quarterback job.

“I think I have a good chance because I work hard and I’m ready to play,” Gardner said.

Center Christian Pace, running backs Austin White and Stephen Hopkins, and receivers Jeremy Jackson, Ricardo Miller and Jerald Robinson also are on campus.

Rodriguez said one recruit, linebacker Antonio Kinard, still "has a little work to do academically" to qualify. If Kinard does not make it to campus in the fall, Rodriguez said Michigan will help place him in a prep school.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 2:04 p.m.

the ranking vary depending on the site your look at rivals says one thing scout says another and espnu has a mix of both... yes it does help having top flight (those who usually get the 5*) but the way the ratings are given out varies too much. Some scouts go soley off the summer camps, others have a combination of junior year results and others use both. as true U-M fans we have seen both spectrums 1) 5* players who work out (henne/graham/woodley) 2) 3* players who are surprises (hart/braylon/long) it all depends on the right blend of system where they coming from work ethic and heart...


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 10:22 a.m.

FWIW, ESPN ranked the class 14th - not the 19th stated in the article:


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 7:47 a.m.

Demar is a 5 star per espn and are class is ranked 14 on espn not 19 ahead of the suxeyes. Devin should be a 5 star thats just espn and there love for the sec. This class is good nice work RR


Thu, Feb 4, 2010 : 12:04 a.m. are you even on this site for?? What a LOSER...Michigan's type of offense has alot to do with it in my mind because most of the players for it aren't ranked up high on an ESPN150. Guys ranked high are Pro-style quarterbacks, pro-style running backs, bigger offensive linemen. Texas has all of that. Going to the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP doesn't hurt either. Of course Michigan is down...they haven't been in a bowl in 2 years. We have a violation probe thing going on too. Which is why this class is good considering all of those things. so STFU.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 11:40 p.m.

I thought Devin Gardener,DeMar Dorsey,and Cullen Christian were all 5 star recruits!? Well at least in my mind they are. So take that TXteacher,we have 3 five star recruits(let Texas A&M top that)!GO BLUE!!!


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 11:07 p.m.

UM got 0 five star recruits, 6 four star recruits and 20 three star recruits. Texas got 2 five star recruits, 19 four star recruits, and 4 three star recruits. With the other "Big Boys", USC, Florida, and even Auburn (3 five star recruits, 13 four star recruits, and 13 three star recruits) prove it can be done. To hear UM fans say they are satisfied with 20/26 being three star recruits shows you the depth to which the program has sunk. Even Texas A&M got 9 four star recruits and they only get Texas' leftovers. Not that good, Blue, really.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 10:09 p.m.

Dave Birkett, You have ruined what is normally a great day for Michigan football fans. I hope you feel very guilty about it.


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 7:41 p.m.

Demar Dorsey just put the icing on this class. Great class. It's even better than the ranking...mostly because we have players to fit the system....which may not be high on a certain ranking list by a site...especially with our offense...but they fit the system. Spell Dorsey backwards...Yes Rod!!!!


Wed, Feb 3, 2010 : 7:41 p.m.

way to emphasize defense this year and really fill some needs! Expect a much more fluent offense and fresh faces on defense- a lot to look forward to this fall!