With the decision date for Long Beach Poly standout Donovan Warren rapidly approaching, coaches from each of his respective finalists made their last ditch attempts to sway him in their direction with their in-home visits. Many believed that USC had already wrapped things up with five-star cornerback, but his father, Alvin Warren, informed GoBlueWolverine last night that nothing could be further from the truth.
"People just assume he is going there," Mr. Warren said regarding USC Sunday evening. "Donovan hasn't verbally committed to nobody."
"Coach Walker, Coach DeLoach, and Coach Dorrell were there for UCLA," Mr. Warren said. "They were telling him that he could come in and compete for a starting position. They weren't promising anything. They said they were up and coming. They think they've got a good program and that they're a couple of key players away from making it a great program. They've got a good defensive coach there. They are trying to convince (Donovan) that they're going to be a big time program, and that they are a couple athletes away. They are telling him if he comes in, he can be a difference maker."
"The Michigan coaches were English and Carr," Mr. Warren continued. "They came in telling Donovan that he'd be in a great situation. They had two corners there this year. One was Hall and he is leaving. They said no one there had a starting position yet and that it is wide open. Whoever can come in and play is going to play. They know they are going to have to play a freshman this year. The other thing I liked about Carr and English is they didn't badmouth any program. They didn't say anything bad about none of the schools. They said at all the schools you've picked you'd get a good education at all of them."
If the Wolverines were ever on the outside looking in at Warren's recruitment, that is certainly isn't the case any longer. The prospect of suiting up in the Maize & Blue has become such viable option that Mr. Warren and his son are contemplating another visit to Ann Arbor.
"He said he is going to figure this out (i.e. come to a final decision) Tuesday or Wednesday," explained Mr. Warren. "That's why he wanted to come down there (to Ann Arbor) tomorrow and check it out. Then he was going to make his mind up by Wednesday."
Whether the Warrens make it back to Michigan or not, there is a gameplan in place for how Donovan is going to settle in on his final choice.
"He is going to sit down with both his mom and me, and we're going to talk it out," Mr. Warren said. "What I try to do is give him the pros and cons of each. The only thing with Michigan is, and it's not bad… can he withstand the weather and is he going to be all right away from home? "
The weather is always one of the stress points for recruiters from Michigan's warm weather adversaries, and that was certainly true with Warren. In this case, though, the Wolverines got an assist from southern California defensive back that was eager to help ease a few concerns.
"Not all of the other schools talked about the weather, but some of them did" admitted Mr. Warren. "They all said Michigan is a great program, but the first thing they harp on is the cold. But as far as the tradition and academics, all of the coaches agreed about that at all of the schools. I talked to Leon Hall for about 15 minutes and he told me that in four years there he might have played in five or six games that were really cold. I had Donovan call him too and they talked as well."
Even if the climate is ultimately considered a negative, there are some very key factors that the Maize & Blue has its favor that just might compensate for it.
"They have great coaches, it's big time football, great tradition… and not only that, the stability of the coaches is big for me," said Mr. Warren. "If Carr decides to retire, it's pretty much going to be somebody there in the program (to take his place). That's just how they do it there. My thing is the coaches. Where is he going to be coached the best at as a defensive back? You have Ron (English) coaching the DB's there. Look at how many defensive backs Michigan has in the league…it's five or six if I'm correct…cornerbacks. So there is a lot to think about. No matter where he goes, he'll be going into a good situation."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Warren in the coming days.