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Posted on Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

Vlad Emilien has left Michigan football team, plus Wolverines injury report

By Pete Bigelow

No. 5 has left the Michigan football team. No, not that No. 5.

Safety Vladimir Emilien asked for and received his release from the university Wednesday.

“Vlady has decided to transfer and look for other opportunities,” Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said. “He’s a good man and we wish him well.”

Emilien's future is unknown.

If he enrolls at another school before the add-drop date this fall - typically the 12th day of classes - he can count the 2010 season as the sit-out year required by NCAA rules.

Either way, he'll likely lose a year of eligibility because he played as a backup in Michigan's season-opener against UConn, although he could appeal the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility.

His departure is the latest dent in a Wolverines secondary hemorrhaging players.

In summer camp, cornerback Justin Turner transferred to West Virginia and senior corner Troy Woolfolk sustained a season-ending leg injury.

Less than a week before the UConn opener, backup free safety Jared Van Slyke, one spot ahead of Emilien on the depth chart, broke his collarbone and was lost for the year.

Cam Gordon starts at free safety, and Rodriguez said Wednesday true freshman Ray Vinopal will back him up.

“He’s really come on the last couple of weeks,” Rodriguez said.

Injury report

Speaking of positions where depth has run thin for Michigan, hybrid linebacker-safety Carvin Johnson remains doubtful for Saturday’s game against Notre Dame.

Thomas Gordon will be his replacement in the lineup. He’ll be backed up by Floyd Simmons.

Michigan has more depth at running back, but Fitzgerald Toussaint will not be among the Wolverines in the rotation.

“He’s doing a lot better, and he’s doing more things at practice, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be ready to go,” Rodriguez said. “We’re pleased with his progress.”

Earlier in the week, Rodriguez listed as Roy Roundtree doubtful after the receiver sustained internal bruises on a nasty collision with UConn defenders. He’ll have more tests Friday.

“He feels good and feels better, but after tomorrow’s workout we’ll have a better idea,” Rodriguez said.



Sat, Sep 11, 2010 : 9:39 p.m.

Sean T, I agree with you on this one. Each student athlete has to able to choose what's right for him. Whether it's a situation where they're not getting the playing time that they wanted/expected or maybe it's too tough academically, whatever the reason, I don't see anything wrong with the decision to go somewhere else. Especially, if their ultimate goal is to play at the next level. I would also wish them well. I think where most get upset, is when this is used as another reason to attack RR. Like student transfers don't happen all of the time and even more often in other or past programs. Mallet is probably the best example. People were criticizing RR for him leaving, but come on, he went home and is now playing in an offense that is more suited to him and will position him well for the NFL. That's a no brainer for both sides.


Fri, Sep 10, 2010 : 1:35 p.m.

Papa - In fact Brady is the WORST example you could pick. He almost wasn't even drafted--199th pick. And he started out with the Pats as fourth string, but finally got to play due to injuries. It was almost pure luck that he even got to show his talents at the pro level. And to those that say Forcier shouldn't transfer because he'll likely end up at East Northern Podunk U., I have to give only one example--Steven Threet (but I'll give two), who transferred TWICE and is now the starting quaterback at ASU. Oh yeah and then there's Mallet, projected no 1. draft pick. Plus, Forcier had way more offers from top 25 schools tan Threet and I'm sure there are a lot of coaches that are salivating at the pospect of getting him in their program. Oh and just for kicks I'll toss in Epke Udoh who increased his draft status immensely by going to Baylor. Gee, too bad for those three quitters--really hurt them to transfer, NOT!

Sean T.

Fri, Sep 10, 2010 : midnight

All I can say is medication, ASAP! Take a pill dude before you have a heart-attack.(LOL) What can be wrong with wishing a kid well after he transfers from Michigan. You cannot help yourself from going off topic and attacking other posters can you? This will be the last time I'll explain myself again, so here we go. I wish the kids well that have left our program and they are talented enough to make it on any program in the country if they are dedicated enough. (We're Michigan!) None of my statements had anything to do with RR(Your Demigod). Now enough of the shenanigan's, Vladi, rededicate yourself and be humble and you will get your shot to show you can be a star.


Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 4:35 p.m.

Now when RR gets fired let's all push to get Sean T made head coach cause we need a head coach with all the answers, get em Sean T.

Sean T.

Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 3:04 p.m.

Portage, I think your post should be directed to another poster. You may need to look up: Cobrani Mixon, MCGuffie, Mallett, Threet, Vince Helmuth, Dan O'Niell,Quinton Patilla, Toney Clemons and Bryce McNeal which all of these players have found starting positions with their respective teams. My point is transferring from UofM to another school may not be a bad thing, because when you're signed by UofM to play Football everyone takes note. There have been only a couple of players that have transferred that are not listed as starters for someone else in the RR era. Probably, some have to sit out a year first! But they are all talented and will get a shot on almost any team. Seems to me that no one complains more than you!


Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 2:41 p.m.

He told me I'm a good kid," Emilien said. "I love coach Rod as a head coach and a person, too. I just told him I need a fresh start. I hope it goes well for him, and I hope we win on Saturday. "I love the school, I love the social life, but I just felt like got stressed dealing with football, and I didn't want it affecting my academics. There's a plan for me. I feel like I made best decision for me." ---Vlad Emilien. Gee, nice things said (and not the first time either) about Coach Rodriguez. All the ones who constantly post that Coach Rod drives people outta here just have THEIR OWN AGENDA! Simple as that. My favorites are those who list the players who left and went to the NFL. Wow! Imagine that, a college football player leaving so he can rake in the bucks in the NFL. Can you imagine that? ALL IN FOR MICHIGAN!


Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 11:51 a.m.

Satch: I only have to name one player to prove my point... Tom Brady....


Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 9:04 a.m.

Past recruiting classes: 2002 - 12 out of 20 recruits ended up quiting. 2003 - 6 out of 17 recruits quit. 2004 - 10 out of 22 reqruits quit. This was almost 50% for 3 straight recruiting classes under Carr. It happens all the time.That's ok, just keep those RichRod hating blinders on.


Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 8:17 a.m.

So many haters, it's really sad. Michigan could be 6-0 and you haters would still find only negatives.


Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 7:18 a.m.

Sean T with a few exceptions, history dictates that these quitters that go to other schools do go to the end of the line now note, the key phrase here is, with a few exceptions. Also, last Sat. did anyone miss Mallet? That kid Vlad left big deal, adios amigo, good luck I won't remember his name by the end of the next game. To much drama this whole thing is about entertainment and I'm not getting entertained when I hear you complainers crying about some kid who's probably happy now so come complainers, entertain us, Vlad is in the past.


Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 4:43 a.m.

Another one bites the dust and another one down, another one down, another one bites the dust.

3 And Out

Thu, Sep 9, 2010 : 1:07 a.m.

Playground football / September Offense. Relying on one guy to carry it. What happens when he goes down? What do you RR slappies get for joining the RR fan club? a junior G Man badge? A Hold The Rope decoder ring? A Body By Barwis workout DVD? more like terrible football and NCAA sanctions....we will lose to ND this weekend...enough already one game proved nothing.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 11:24 p.m.

The Communist Block had less defections! Another loss in an area that we were already weak. I wonder where Mr. Kelly will be attacking come Saturday? At some point it is a legitimate question concerning why so many athletes bolt or become disgruntled.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 10:25 p.m.

Sorry buddy, but Vlad hasn't been able to crack the 2-deep since he got here, so he didn't JUST find out.He also stated that he loves RichRod.This just adds another scollie for next year to be used on a better player.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 9:04 p.m.

1720 - Yes, and it also happens all the time that people seek work elsewhere because they were denied a promotion, etc., and no one calls them quitters/losers or says they're lacking in character. I agree that Tate may get "lucky" and play because of an injury, but that's kind of a lame thing to hope for, and if it doesn't happen he's screwed. In any case, I just visited the Forcier's website and yes it's over the top, but Tate's list of offers is mighty impressive--Florida, LSU, VT, Penn State, Stanford all offered the kid. Let's be honest, he ain't here for the degree number one and the kid has options. Could you really blame him for deciding he has a much better chance of living his dream somewhere else?


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 8:56 p.m.

I am assuming the good news here is Ray Vinopal. I like the sleeper profile, work ethic, etc. Looks like a lunch box kind of player to me. He beat out Emilien and 3rd string lead to transfer.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 8:53 p.m.

Wow! I'm always amazed at the amount of energy expended to gripe and moan about stuff that we don't know anything about. No one wants to admit it, and the record doesn't yet show it, but RR has a bit of the same crusty streak that Bo had.. Not convinced? Read the chapter in John U. Bacon's book on Bo in which Bo kicked Dave Brandon off the team for simply grumbling in practice (then re-instated him). If that took place today, the press would be treating Bo like it treats RR.. In business, sales cures all ills. In college football, winning cures everything.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 8:34 p.m.

So now we want to blame RR and GR for playing the kids that have worked hard and deserve to play Let me understand this, the coaches should have played Vlad just because he wanted to be a starter even though other players had out performed him. Reading these posts is really sad, I can't believe there are actually that many people that are struggling with a lack of common sense and intelligence. Maybe that is a result of the depressed economy in MI or something. Vlad, Turner and White have decided to be "quitters" because they were expected to earn playing time and were not just awarded it. If that makes RR and GR bad coaches, then I hope we keep these bad coaches. If I'm a top notch D1 program, I would not be real excited about bringing these kids on board, if they take the attitude, if I don't get my way I'm taking my ball and leave. Threet left because he knew he didn't fit RR spread. He did not trash the school or coaches. Mallet was disliked by his teammates at MI during his freshman year due to his "I'm the greatest" attitude. He did not trash the school or coaches either, he felt he didn't fit the spread offense and he wanted to go home. So get off that crap of RR running them off. Every report I have read from parents or coaches of kids that are being recruited by RR indicate that he is an honest, open, humble individual that they all feel they can trust. I take that more to heart than the stupid things I read from people that have never even met this man or had the opportunity to even say hello to him. All RR ever tells recruits is that they have the opportunity to compete for playing time as freshman. If you read the comments from the recruits and current players, they say RR never promises anything in relation to playing time, he merely tells them the opportunity is there, what you do with it is dependant on the individual. As a life long Wolverine fan now living in IL, it is sad to read the comments from the so called MI fans on this site each day. It is obvious the majority are not MI grads based on the intelligence level they are displaying


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 6:31 p.m.

What is gonna happen next...another waterboy transferring...Tate might as well switch positions to a safety or a waterboy! GO BLUE! Unchanged prediction: 5-7 season. New coach next year, guaranteed!

3 And Out

Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 4:49 p.m.

This is what happens when you throw out blind offers to out of state kids... Vlad was coming off an ACL in HS...saw the winged helmet offer and jumped on it...Michigan slappies on boards like the sycophant filled mgoblog reveled in "Vlad the Impaler" as they called him...height weight and measurables....ignoring the fact that eventually Vlad like many other RR offers, bounced out of the program as one of the seemingly never ending kids bouncing out under RR or not even qualifying after getting one of RRs blind offers....


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 4:28 p.m.

Satch. who say`s second, third string would be STUCK in that position? NO ONE. as thin as the de-fence is, the playing time is there. law school and football have nothing to do with it. it happens all the time in the world. go to school for something and get hired on. you have to work your way up to get to the top position.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 4:04 p.m.

Does anyone remember the sign Bo put up his first year Those who stay will be champions you think he put that up because he knew everyone was going to stay, no it was because he knew some kids where not going to make it. It takes a special kind of man to make it on the greatest team in history, as it should.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 3:17 p.m.

Way to create a cohesive unit, RR. Well, at least it's not our thinnest area. What's that you say? It is? Oh darn. Maybe the issue is that it's not fun to play for a unaccountable egomaniac and if you're also not going to get to play much and you're on a losing team, then transferring starts looking pretty attractive (worked out okay for Boren, Mallett, and Threet to name just three). Sad days for Michigan football. But at least we have our one game winning streak to celebrate.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 3:16 p.m.

Any one know if he was another of the "wingless" Wolverines?


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 2:47 p.m.

Well I wish the best for him also. But Everybody can't start and that's the way it is "fellas". I don't know why he left and neither does anyone posting comments here.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 1:49 p.m.

The people who say "oh you should stay even if it looks like you won't ever play" just make me laugh. Suppose you graduate from law school, want to be a litigator, and hire on with a firm that says they'll give you that chance. Then they decide nope you don't have what it takes so you get stuck in "research". Are you going to stay at that firm? NFW! Get real people.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 1:35 p.m.

Wow this is odd. Usually rr likes to break streaks now he starting some of his own and there not pretty. Does anyone think there might be something wrong with the coach if they are doing the exact opposite of what papa is saying?


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 1:29 p.m.

Someone should tell these kids that turning down a world class education so you can start at northwestern new mexico state trinity community college is not going to get you into the NFL. However working hard and earning a starting or even backup position at Michigan combined with the education is probably one of the best "gifts" life can give you.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 1:06 p.m.

Tate will drop but I wouldn't assume he'd be the next at the rate they're falling. I think this must be some kind of record for RR, but certainly not one you'd want to boast about. And let's not forget that Steven Threet (who would have been 4th string!) transferred TWICE and still ended up as the starting QB at a D1 program. Certainly Tate is aware of that.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 1:05 p.m.

Why would he leave after one game? He is effectively going to throw away two whole seasons of football. He would clearly have the opportunity to play here given the thinness of the secondary.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 12:52 p.m.

In my 35 years of following Michigan football, I've never seen us take so many hits at one type of position (defensive back) from injuries, transfers, early NFL enrollees, and players kicked off the team. Even though I have no evidence, something may be going on behind the scenes that I can't even speculate on. Whatever the reason(s), Michigan better find a way to stop the attrition or it'll be time to start holding all-campus tryouts again.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 12:43 p.m.

RR has made it clear that he doesn't comment on those who "no longer play for Michigan." In other words... He's not going to waste his time trying to convince an unhappy kid to stay. Harsh? A bit. But like he says... "I only talk about kids that play for Michigan." A lot of not so hidden meaning in that statement.

Sean T.

Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 12:38 p.m.

Richagain, I agree with the beginning of your post but getting back in the end of the line can't be true. Look at the last two QB's and countless other players that transferred since RR took over.


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 12:28 p.m.

Wonder if its RR or the DC. Hopefully UM can go undefeated and laugh at all these quiters. When you go to another team, all your doing is getting back at the end of the line. HA Go blue!


Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 12:22 p.m.

What the hell is going on? RR needs to settle the ranks. Our program, and most others, have many backups that are developing and waiting their turn, so why do RR's reqruits say either play me or I'm out. Tate will be the next to drop. I'm guessing that RR is selling the "you can play now" card too hard. He needs to lay off of that and start selling other parts of the program. Also, with so many scholy's available, I think he is loading up, knowing that some will not make it.

Sean T.

Wed, Sep 8, 2010 : 12:09 p.m.

Well I wish the best for him and I hope he has a fabulous career elsewhere. Everybody wants to start fellas and that's the way it is.