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Wolverines secondary takes another hit

Sep 8, 2010, 2:23 PM EDT

News is breaking today that Michigan sophomore safety Vladimir Emilien has decided to leave the Wolverines football program. That makes another departure from a secondary that’s already been plundered by injury and attrition.

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

Since the end of last season, the Wolverine’s depth chart has been ravaged. Former cornerback Boubacar Cissoko was kicked off the team and sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to multiple robberies this summer. Fellow cornerback Justin Turner decided to transfer to West Virginia and senior cornerback Troy Woolfolk suffered a season-ending leg injury all before fall camp.

Safety depth has also been hit, with free safety Jared Van Slyke breaking a collarbone that could cost him the season, while Rodriguez mentioned that safety Carvin Johnson also is “very doubtful” for the game this weekend with a injury to his MCL. Add to that the loss of uber-prospect Demar Dorsey, who couldn’t qualify academically this summer, and the Woverines are incredibly thin at every position in the defensive backfield.

I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how the Wolverines can stop the Irish passing game, and they’ll likely have to rely on a wonderful blend of pressure and zone coverage, something that is far less likely to work in the friendly confines of Notre Dame Stadium than if this game were taking place in the Big House.

While we’ll spend some time talking about the pressure that’s going to be on the backs of the Irish defense, the play of cornerbacks James Rogers, J.T. Floyd, and safeties Jordan Kovacs and Cameron Gordon will be the biggest storyline of the afternoon.

(You know the situation is dire when Greg Robinson’s playing a 3-3-5 defense, and the Michigan Rivals’ website has a secondary depth chart that only has four active players on it.)

  1. Art Vandelay - Sep 9, 2010 at 12:45 AM

    Geez, multiple robberies, failing to qualify academically? Sounds like a quality program. I hope Crist “takes that next step” (nod to Phil Simms) and picks apart their floundering secondary. Can we call the Wolverines convicts until Miami is back on the schedule?

  2. Chucket - Sep 9, 2010 at 3:18 AM

    It’s horrible to hear about academic troubles, and delinquent athletes with legal entanglements. Society looks upon them as models to emulate.
    However, it’s also horrible to learn that NFL owners (!) are being increasingly pressured by players right now to come forth with better conditions for players as they march into labor contract renovation in 2011. Entanglements arising from greed will surely be on the field in the following months.
    Many sports, including football, polarize people against each other instead of providing a basis for harmonizing.

  3. romanwolve - Sep 9, 2010 at 4:39 AM

    Give me a break, the reason people hate ND fans is the holier-than-thou attitude that they possess, what they don’t possess is a memory, shall we go through ND’s list of players with recent legal or academic issues??? Why belittle the athlete whom was denied admission to UM??? Do you take joy when a business or engineering hopeful is denied admission, thousands of applicants fail to gain to admission to UM each year, I don’t think it is a negative at all. I’ so glad that ND is down, their fans deserve it as they are arrogant arses.

  4. me - Sep 9, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    Youa are way off base and, for lack of a better word, ignorant. READ THE STORY before commenting next time- failing to qualify academically is NOT the same as gaining admission. He had been admitted, he simply didn’t do the work to stay admitted. I have no fairyland concept of ND Football, it has its flaws. However, it is a clean program that places a real emphasis on acadmics. Also, what are these “legal matters” to which you refer? DUI or Minor in Possession of Alcohol? Those offenses aren’t even news at UM as they would fill the pages of the Michigan Daily. Next time, please read and take a moment to think before spewing your ignorance.

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