Looking At Ross Douglas

Michigan has accepted the commitment of three-star cornerback Ross Douglas. FoxSportsNEXT takes a close look at the Avon (OH) athlete.

What exactly is Michigan getting with the commitment of Avon (OH) cornerback Ross Douglas? The 5-foot-11, 185-pound, athlete committed to the Wolverines Tuesday afternoon, shortly after receiving the Michigan offer.

WHAT TO LIKE: Douglas is a pure speed athlete, first and foremost. He can run and jump with the best of Ohio's top defensive backs. Douglas has only played the cornerback position for one season, as he has always been Avon's primary offensive weapon. He has a lot of upside as a cornerback, because he has a lot to learn about playing the position. The skill set is more than adequate, and all he lacks is game experience at the position, but he will get another year's worth this season. As a tailback, Douglas has learned how to play physical football, so tackling should not be a problem. When he gets to Michigan and can devote all of his efforts to playing and learning the cornerback position only, his development will be accelerated.

WHAT ARE THE CONCERNS: At 5-foot-10, or 5-foot-11, Douglas is what he is. He is not a long-armed, tall cornerback. That would be the main drawback to his game, but a check of NFL rosters proves that there are cornerbacks under 6-feet tall all over the league. There are questions about his ability to play physically from his defensive back spot, but I do not share those concerns. Douglas has probably 400 carries under his belt from his tailback spot in his career, and soft players don't put up the numbers he has achieved. Does his film show a lot of highlight hits? No, it doesn't and until he has them there will be questions. I've seen him play live and have never seen him shy away from a tackle, but he can answer this question as a senior.

WHAT ARE THE INTANGIBLES? You absolutely hate to go out on a limb regarding someone's character, either good or bad. That is usually a risky play from a recruiting analyst, but I feel safe in saying there are zero character concerns with Ross Douglas. He comes from a great family, with his father being a retired air traffic controller, while his mother is an associate dean of students at Case Western. An older brother is currently enrolled in medical school. This kid is set to succeed, on and off the field in a big way. When describing Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, Douglas said "Coach (Bo) Pelini was great and he reminded me of my father. He's the kind of guy that if you do the wrong thing, he will put his foot up your tail. But, if you do what you're supposed to do, he will love you and coach you up." That is what Michigan is getting with Ross Douglas. His football ability has him rated as a high three-star prospect currently, and his film shows that type of player. What film does not show is what is going inside the player. I don't know what the ceiling is for Ross Douglas a player, but I suspect it is pretty high. I do feel comfortable saying he is going to do everything he can to reach that ceiling, and he should be a player Michigan fans can be very proud of.

WOLVERINE PLAYER COMPARISON: Courtney Avery. Both players started their high school careers as offensive stars, before settling into a defensive back role. Like Avery, Douglas has the skill set to succeed, and he also has the desire and intelligence that has aided Avery in his career.

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