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Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Five positive signing day surprises for U-M

By Michael Rothstein

Looking back over the past decade, Michigan came up with many big-time, last-minute recruiting pulls on or around Signing Day, grabbing kids who looked like they would be staying home or close to it out of Florida and California.

Some didn’t pan out as Michigan would have hoped. Others turned into some of the most recognizable stars the Wolverines have had over the past decade.

As we also did with five guys who surprised and spurned Michigan at the last minute, here is a look at what happened with five guys who ended up choosing Michigan at the last second.

Demar Dorsey
Demar Dorsey appeared to be a huge get for U-M, but he never made it to campus.
Demar Dorsey (2010)
What happened: One of Michigan’s biggest recruiting coups under Rich Rodriguez, Dorsey -- a cousin of former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson -- decided to come north to Michigan instead of staying closer to home at Florida State. The No. 2 safety and No. 12 overall player in his class, he was the Wolverines’ highest-rated signee that year and was expected to be an immediate contributor to a then-struggling Michigan secondary.

How it worked out: Dorsey never made it to campus. In June, Michigan’s admittance office decided not to admit the safety and for a while, it looked like he would end up at Louisville. He never got there, either, and ended up at Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College in 2011. After a season there, Hawaii had surfaced as a destination for Dorsey this past season, but that never materialized and Dorsey spent half of the season at Arizona Western, a junior college in Yuma, Ariz. Reached in late November, an Arizona Western coach told that Dorsey had been kicked off the team midway through the season.

Denard Robinson (2009)
What happened: Michigan was in desperate need for a quarterback after a 3-9 season in 2008 and only one quarterback who was a fit for the Rodriguez offense -- early-enrolling freshman Tate Forcier -- on the roster. Both Kevin Newsome and Shavodrick Beaver had committed and then decommitted from the Wolverines, leaving them searching. Meanwhile, Robinson was adamant he wanted to play quarterback where most schools wanted him as a defensive back or athlete. On Signing Day, he announced he was going to Michigan instead of in-state Florida and UCF along with Kansas State.

How it worked out: After playing quarterback in spot duty as a freshman, Robinson became Michigan’s starting quarterback as a sophomore and turned into a revelation. He ended his career earlier this month as the NCAA record holder for quarterback rushing yards (4,495) and set multiple Michigan records. He turned into the face of the Wolverines program over his final three seasons in Ann Arbor and one of the most recognizable players in college football. He is expected to transition to wide receiver or running back in the NFL and should be selected in the April’s NFL entry draft.

Donovan Warren (2007)
What happened: Michigan looked like it was behind for the majority of Warren’s recruitment, especially when the California native had USC involved. The Trojans even looked like a favorite close to signing day for the No. 86 player in the country, when Warren announced he would be leaving the west coast to play for the Wolverines instead, one of the many west coast recruiting coups pulled over the years by former Michigan defensive coordinator and now-Eastern Michigan head coach Ron English.

How it worked out: Warren spent three seasons at Michigan, including starting 11 games at cornerback as a freshman in 2007. He started all three years at Michigan, making 170 tackles, six interceptions and breaking up six passes. After his junior season, he made another surprising decision. He left Michigan for the NFL Draft. He went undrafted in the 2010 NFL Draft and has spent time with the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears either as an offseason signee or a practice squad player.

Jonas Mouton (2006)
What happened: The Californian was the No. 14 safety and No. 128 prospect in his class and figured to stay out west with USC extremely interested in him. But on signing day, Mouton ended up sending his National Letter of Intent to Michigan -- something the school announced before his actual press conference -- spurning the Trojans.

How it worked out: Mouton eventually moved from safety to linebacker, where he played on two of the worst defenses in Michigan’s history. He had a productive career, though, starting 34 games and making 264 tackles and 18 tackles for loss. He was selected in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, where he is still on the active roster.

Adrian Arrington (2004)
What happened: One of the top receivers in his class, Arrington -- from Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- was down to three schools: UCLA, Michigan and Iowa, which was 30 minutes from his hometown. About a week before signing day, Arrington ended up selecting Michigan.

How it worked out: Arrington played three seasons at Michigan, catching 109 passes for 1,438 yards and 16 touchdowns. The 16 touchdown receptions are 10th in Wolverines history. He left with one year of eligibility remaining and ended up being drafted by New Orleans in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Arrington spent 2008 through 2012 on the Saints roster before being released in September with an injury settlement.