Signing Day Capsule: Donovan Warren

This five star corner prospect spurned in-ste power USC and chose Michigan. scouting report: The top cornerback in the West, Warren is a special talent who is everything you want in a corner. Has good feet and hips, and has a nice burst. For more, including video, check inside.

Donovan Warren
Cornerback - 6-1/176/4.40
Polytechnic HS (Long Beach, CA)
NR: ***** - Position Rank: #4 Player Video
Nike 7-on-7 Passing Championship -
Scouting Video 2 - Sr. Year #2 CB -
Army Practice: Day-One -

His Recruiting Story
Donovan Warren comes from one of the most successful high school programs in the country in Long Beach Poly,  As a result he has faced some of the nation's top receiving prospects both right on his own practice field.  His cover skills were honed covering the likes of former Poly standouts DeSean Jackson (Cal), Travon Patterson (USC), Terrance Austin (UCLA) and Derek Jones (Oregon).

As a junior, Warren had 51 tackles and one interception while playing opposite USC signee Vincent Joseph.  He first shot to national prominence after a lockdown performance at the Army National Junior Combine in January of 2006.  During the one-on-one drills, scouts quickly noted lockdown ability at defensive back.

"I think I performed real good against some of the best players in the country – there was some good competition out there,” Warren said. “I didn’t have any passes caught on me this whole camp, so I’m thrilled. I was looking for a real, real good wide receiver out there, but I didn’t find him. There wasn‘t anyone I couldn‘t cover”

Warren's outstanding skills commanded the attention over 20 of the nation's top programs.  USC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Miami, Nebraska, California, UCLA, and Tennessee were among his most prominent suitors, but in December 2006, he officially narrowed his list to four lucky schools, USC, California, UCLA and Michigan.

Michigan established itself as the lone out-of-state school on his list thanks to a strong official visit to Ann Arbor in October.

“Michigan was great,” Warren recalled. “I loved it out there! It was the Michigan State game, which was a rivalry, so it was real crazy. People were all jacked up and everything. I got a chance to sit down with all of the coaches and see all of facilities. Plus I found out more about the education. I didn’t know Michigan’s academics were ranked so high. It was a real good visit.”
Throughout the process most analysts assumed that USC would be Warren's destination.  Three of Warren's teammates signed with USC in 2006; Joseph, Patterson and defensive back Alfred Rowe.  That continued Poly's reputation as a Southern Cal feeder school.  If that wasn't enough, Warren's Godfather is former USC All-American Mark Carrier.

A strong visit to UCLA in mid January and the presence of his good friend DeSean Jackson at Cal kept those teams in the race, but as the process wound down, many still considered SC to be the prohibitive favorite.  Then the tag team duo of Ron English and Lloyd Carr changed everything on their in-home visit.

"(The in-home visit) really pushed them over the top," Warren said.  "They were looking good before that.  I was kind of feeling Michigan already, but that in-home visit really put it down. Coach Carr coming out here and being honest with me was big.  I had some in-home visits before, and some of the coaches talked bad about other schools and stuff like that.  When (Michigan) came in for their in-home visit, they were straight up with me.  They had nothing bad to say about other schools.  They just laid it all out there."

The most significant factor in Warren's final decision was the presence of defensive coordinator Ron English.  Now in his second year overseeing the entire unit, he is slated to take control of the corners again as well.  The tutelage Warren anticipates receiving and the relationship he has forged with the energetic coach was too much for the other schools to overcome.

"I love Coach English," Warren said matter-of-factly.  "He's an aggressive type of guy.  He's an in-your-face type dude. I like that mentality of getting better each day in practice.  I just like the way he coaches.  His development of players shows in the guys he has had.  I play corner and his philosophies and the way he teaches the position are going to really help me. I just told him he can't go anywhere for the next four years!"

Warren officially chose the Wolverines over the Trojans on February 1st.

GoBlueWolverine Commentary
The first thing that sticks out to you about Warren is his ability in man coverage. Despite his lack of bulk, he plays very tough for his size and never shies away from contact. He can play press against just about any receiver and does a good job in zone of using his physicality to funnel things inside. He also shows good awareness in zone coverage and works through his progressions well. Warren possesses great hip fluidity, outstanding acceleration, can change direction effortlessly, and does not lose any speed while doing so. Overall he has very good body control and is graceful for the position.

Warren is extremely polished for a player coming out of high school. His backpedal and planting ability is way ahead of schedule and won’t need much work. He has displayed really good game speed and is also a noted track athlete as well (10.8 in the 100m and 21.8 in the 200). 

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