Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Top Michigan recruit misses
By Tom VanHaaren
As signing day approaches, fans are wondering which commitments and prospects will end up being playmakers in Ann Arbor. Every year there are those recruits that out perform their rankings and projections, but there are also prospects that never live up to the hype.
Whether it was injury or other reasons, WolverineNation takes a look at Michigan's top prospects who never were.
1. Antonio Bass, Class of 2005: Bass was an All-State and All-American athlete in high school in Jackson, Mich., and was touted as one of the more electric athletes in the class of 2005. He had speed, size and the athleticism that made Michigan fans think Bass was going to be special.
With offers from Michigan, LSU, Notre Dame, Penn State and others, Bass was a can't-miss prospect. Unfortunately, he suffered a career-ending knee injury before his second season and never returned to the playing field. He ended his career with eight receptions for 64 yards and no touchdowns.
Class of 2005 RB recruit Kevin Grady set Michigan high school rushing records but never panned out for the Wolverines.
2. Kevin Grady, Class of 2005: Grady was setting all kinds of records at East Grand Rapids High School and was going to be the next great running back for Michigan. According to the Michigan High School Athletic Association website, Grady is still first in career points, career touchdowns, career rushing yards and career rushing attempts. He was a can't-miss prospect in the 2005 class.
Grady, however, saw some troubles off the field, and his career at Michigan never really got started. He eventually switched positions from running back to fullback but still wasn't productive. His final stats for his career were 200 carries, 783 yards and 10 touchdowns.
3. Kelly Baraka, Class of 2001: Baraka was talked about in 2001, when recruiting coverage was still scarce on the Internet. The Portage, Mich., running back was another explosive player out of the state of Michigan who everyone thought would translate to the next level. His athleticism and speed could have put him at multiple positions in college.
Baraka was committed to the University of Michigan but got in trouble with the law before hitting campus. A few arrests prevented him from attending Michigan, and he didn't end up at any other program.
4. Boubacar Cissoko, Class of 2008: Cissoko was a highly recruited cornerback prospect out of Detroit in the class of 2008. With offers from Michigan, Tennessee, LSU and others, he had the top schools coming after him. He was a U.S. Army All-American to boot.
Cissoko saw playing time early at Michigan and was second among freshmen with 15 tackles during the 2008 season. He found himself in legal trouble during a disastrous sophomore campaign and was dismissed from the team after multiple arrests.
5. Justin Turner, Class of 2009: One of the top-ranked prospects in the state of Ohio in the 2009 class, Turner was being talked about as the next best defensive back out of Ohio. At 6-foot-2, he still had the athleticism to play cornerback. He held offers from Michigan, Ohio State and others, but ultimately chose the Wolverines.
After academic issues delayed his admission to Michigan, Turner decided to transfer from Michigan before his redshirt freshman season and thus never got on the field for the Wolverines. Turner ended up transferring to West Virginia and eventually transferred again to a junior college in Arizona.