With recent news circulating that junior DB Donovan Warren will be leaving to enter the 2010 NFL draft, all I can say is that I am incredibly disappointed. With this disappointment comes many fears- I fear for the program, I fear for the coaching staff, and yes, Donovan, I fear for your future.
What can I say? Our defense was horrible last year, and the outlook for the future, especially without Warren, makes next year seem incredibly grim. Without much argument, I feel it safe to say that the three best players on the Michigan defense this fall were Brandon Graham, Stevie Brown, and Donovan Warren. Notice a pattern? All three will be gone next year. The cupboard has essentially gone from bare to beyond bare, in fact, I'm not even sure if there is a cupboard anymore.
The Coaching Staff
I don't have to be an insider to tell you that Rich Rodriguez and his staff need to have a winning record next year to keep their jobs. I also don't need to be a football connoisseur to tell you that defense wins games. My question: how does Rich Rodriguez plan on winning 8 games (an approximate of what he will need to keep his job) without any defense so to speak of? I hate to sound too pessimistic, but next year when Michigan trots out onto the field, the secondary will be ugly. In fact, do we even know who will be in the secondary? Without Warren, there are no more absolutes. While I'll admit that I'm sure that Troy Woolfolk will be a starter, I can't tell you for certain at what position.
It's funny that I fear for a man who is about to make millions over the next couple of years, but I truly do. News has been broken that Warren recently applied to the NFL draft committee to see his approximate draft position, but if Donovan Warren believes any rumors about how highly touted he is as a prospect then he is a fool. I'm sure that soon the rumor mill will begin to spew an idea about Warren being project to go early second round......sure, and Alan Branch was going to be drafted early first round (actual result: early second round) and Ernest Shazor was set to go late first/early second (actual result: undrafted). Both came into the draft as juniors, and both made bad decisions.
Warren is a very talented player, don't get me wrong, but I strongly believe that he has not reached the apex of his game, and should, therefore, stay in school. Call me crazy, but I don't think that NFL tams are salivating over the idea of acquiring a player who was not even the best player on a defense that got carved up by the likes of Joey Elliott, Nick Tolzien, and Kirk Cousins.
Stay in school Donovan: If not for yourself, then for the sake of your coaches, your classmates, your teammates, and, oh yeah, my sanity.