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Posted on Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 6:11 p.m.

Donovan Warren leaning 'heavily' towards turning pro

By Dave Birkett

Michigan cornerback Donovan Warren is leaning "heavily" towards entering the NFL draft.

Warren, a third-year junior who led Michigan with 4 interceptions this year, has filed paperwork to ask the NFL's underclass advisory committee for his draft status.

He said Thursday their input will play into his decision, but turning pro is "just something that I believe it's just for me."

"I'm definitely, I'd have to say heavily, I like the chances of me coming out," Warren said at Michigan's annual football bust.

Warren said he planned to make a decision “within 2 weeks or so,” likely before the advisory committee reports back on his draft status.

An NFL scout told earlier this fall that Warren projected as a middle-round pick.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said he talked with Warren about his decision Thursday and will continue to advise him throughout the process.

“For selfish reasons any coach would” want to keep him around, Rodriguez said. “But if a guy’s a first-rounder and he has that kind of opportunity than you certainly understand it. Beyond being a first-rounder or a high second-round pick I think they’re always better served finishing their degree and playing their fourth year.”

Warren was Michigan’s only reliable cornerback during last year’s 5-7 season despite playing with lingering ankle pain.

He said he went through a battery of tests recently to identify the problem.

“I’m not sure what I’m going to need or anything like that, but I just know I have to get it taken care of,” he said.

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.



Sat, Dec 5, 2009 : 9:21 a.m.

Stay Warren! We need you. I don't believe the crap everyone is saying about our team. You are a great leader and a great player. Be smart and get your degree, then go Pro. I believe you have a great football future. Our young D needs a guy like you! One more year's only one more year. I love watching you play. Stay and help build the program back up in Michigan before you leave. I live in Columbus, OH, unfortunately, and here is a direct quote from a Channel 10 interview..."We OWN Michigan. We OWN this rivalry. They don't know what it's like to beat us..." Stay, and KNOW what it's like to beat these guys. We would have beat them this past time if not for all of the turnovers and YOU played a major part in that defense that held their highly vaunted Offense to only 1 touchdown per half!! PLEASE STAY DONOVAN!!


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 6:46 p.m.

I see your point Craig but any NFL team including the Lions is a huge step up for any college player. Lions play Florida: Lions win 110 to 3. And why wouldn't I want the Lions to get help on D, they are my team. And for him to stay local, I think he would be just fine playing for them.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 1:23 p.m.

For the "next Charles Woodson", this kid never did anything to impress me. He should enjoy the lack of stress of 1 more year of scholarship living before he faces a lifetime of looking for work.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 11:41 a.m.

It would be a mistake for him to worry about changes to the rookie salary cap that may or may not become reality. The only players who should worry about that are those drafted in the top 15. For the middle-rounders - even the second rounders - it will make little-to-no difference. Given the likelihood of a lockout, he might want to delay going pro as much as possible. Honestly, his best move is to play his senior season and hope there's a coaching turnaround and the light comes on for him. Out of the 40-or-so underclassmen who declare early, it's a good decision for less than half. And about ten, each year, disappear entirely from organized football. Warren would get drafted, certainly, because of his athletic gifts. But he'd be a project, with no guarantee of ever seeing the field.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 11:04 a.m.

Staying at Michigan will only increase his draft status. He will lose a lot of money by coming out early for the NFL and being a middle round pick. Whichever way his Michigan Man decides, I wish him the best of luck.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 10:11 a.m.

Michman, The OSU game is in Columbus. Stay one more year to get embarassed yet again? This team will be starting redshirt freshman and true freshman yet again next year. Its the only way Richrod will be able to make excuses for another UM disaster. ND gets Brian Kelly and UM at home. Same as Penn State and OSU. This team will be lucky to duplicate the 2 B10 wins next year.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 10:06 a.m.

He should leave as soon as possible. The secondary coaches M has right now will only deter his developement as a cornerback. Watch any game from this year. They are teaching them not to turn and look for the ball in the air. Not a single NFL corner plays only the receiver. He will get coached up at the next level and end up being a solid corner in the future. Good luck to Donovan.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 9:40 a.m.

Upperclassmen seem to regress under RR (besides Graham)... I feel sorry for Greg Matthews, Carlos Brown, and Brandon Minor... RR is supposed to be an offensive genius, and they sure put up a lot of points this yr., but did his system really prepare those three for the NFL? NO... Warren is seeing the writing on the wall that this program is not what be signed up for... UM football under RR is not an NFL talent machine like it was under Lloyd... Criticize Lloyd all you want, he produced A LOT of NFL talent...


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 8:51 a.m.

While I think he goes pro, I think its more about the rookie salary cap that will go into effect the following than it is about wanting to actually leave Michigan. And he is seeing that Morgan Trent is actually doing a decent job, so he has to be saying "Im way better than Morgan, so Ill succeed". I wouldn't wish Donovan to the Lions...hasn't he been in losing hell long enough? Best of luck to Donovan whether he stays or goes.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 7:43 a.m.

D Warren: from the day you declared for Michigan, we have all watched you grow and become an exceedingly productive leader on D. You are skilled at projecting where the ball will go, you are fast and you have the mental maturity to do well at the next level. I wish you only the very best in the NFL. I would ask however that you seriously consider what you are doing. Seek advice from other former Michigan players and you will hear a common theme: extreme regret at not beating Ohio State. Stay one more year and become a legend for the maize and blue. I am humbly asking you, with a deep apprciation for God given abilities on defense, to please stay one more year and make us remember your name when we speak to our Grandkids of Michigan greatness, make us remember your name when we speak of legends-past in the Big House, let us ask you to come back every homecoming to see again the man that helped end one of this states most horrific string of losses in our history: please Mr D Warren, stay one more to see us BEAT OHIO STATE! Thank you for your kind attention Mr Warren, make you choose wisely. And may the maize and blue be forever thankful for your talent and effort.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 6:55 a.m.

pithesis95: With all due respect my Internet friend, how can you on the one hand say "Wish nothing but the best for him." then follow that with "LIONS TAKE NOTE EARLY SECOND ROUNDER. It would be great to have some Wolverines on the team." Make up your mind sir. Do you wish him well or do you wish him to the Lions? Sadly, the two are mutually exclusive.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 4:39 a.m.

I don't see it. But that's what those evaluation committees are for. He will be a Combine warrior - size and speed. But for whatever reason, he's never come close to fulfilling his potential. Could well be another Alan Branch.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 12:57 a.m.

I would love to see him stick around for 2010, but its not going to happen. It was pretty obvious throughout the year that he wanted out. I actually feel bad for the guy....he never would have come to school here if he knew how bad the defense was going to be. If he runs his 40 below a 4.5 at the NFL combine, he is a guaranteed 1st round pick.


Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 8:50 p.m.

Donovan Warren would be crazy to take a chance on another year with this team. Just look at Manny and Sims. Both decided to come back with the BB Team this year and so far, its looks kind of bleak. Their decision to return is going to hurt them. There is no way that M FB team is going to improve so drastically that it will help him in the draft. There is going to be a lot of tension next year with the search for an athlete director, and RR is going to be under tremendous pressure to win. Even if you are not drafted in the first round you will be high second for sure. I say go Donovan. You have the bility to succeed at the next level.


Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 8:09 p.m.

He can join Terrance Taylor, Mike Hart and Carson Butler in the unemployment line. If he's projected as a mid-round pick, he ought to stay in school.


Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 7:50 p.m.

From what I've seen on the field, Warren could benefit from another year in college. I'd be surprised if he is even a 2nd round pick. He DID show a lot of improvement this season, but not enough to justify an NFL team drafting him highly. I do think a problem has been him having a different defensive coordinator each of his seasons at U-M. Still, I hope he comes back next season and anchors a young secondary.

Macabre Sunset

Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 7:26 p.m.

Its effect on Michigan notwithstanding, this would be a terrible decision for Warren. He is perceived to be regressing under poor coaching and has gained a reputation for too much freelancing. He would be lucky to go in the first four rounds. He has the athletic ability to sneak into the first round if he gets another year under his belt and shows he can work within a system. That would likely mean a difference of several million dollars in his first contract. This assumes Robinson is going to work to put together a better scheme for next year. I don't know Warren's academic situation. He might be forced into this decision purely out of poor study habits. But if he isn't, he needs to take a hard look at how much guaranteed money he'll get as a low-round pick, and the odds against him even sticking with an NFL team long enough to get the lucrative second contract. If the CBA isn't re-negotiated, that's six years of low-rounder pay. If he's lucky.


Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 7:20 p.m.

Smart to leave now. With Graham and Brown finished, this defense is going to be a disaster next year, which will do nothing but hurt his draft status.


Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 7:18 p.m.

There is almost no improvement to the team next season. Little chance of a Big Ten title on the line. If you feel that you'll go in the draft, go pro. As they said, take the money and run.


Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 7:11 p.m.

Oh yeah, yes I do know about Backus but you'll never catch me admitting it besides right now.


Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 7:10 p.m.

Donovan has been talking about this for awhile which tells me he's probably gone. Love to keep him another year but how do you convince a kid to turn down that much money. It's definately not telling him there will be more there next year even though there would be. Wish nothing but the best for him. Thank you Donovan for working your a$$ off. LIONS TAKE NOTE EARLY SECOND ROUNDER. It would be great to have some Wolverines on the team.