Warren Wants Starting Job

Since giving his verbal commitment to join the Maize and Blue near signing day last February, the talk of the Wolverine nation has been whether incoming freshman Donovan Warren will be able to handle the responsibility that comes with seeing the field as a true freshman. In his first day in a Michigan uniform, Warren sat down with GBW.

When five-star cornerback Donovan Warren announced his intentions of continuing his football career donning the Winged Helmet, it sent shockwaves up and down the coast of Southern California. Considered one of, if not the, top defensive prospects in the State of California, Warren was supposed to be a virtual lock to the Trojans.

Despite his ties to the 'SC program, however, a depleted Michigan depth chart drew Warren, a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder, across the country to join one of the richest football traditions in the land.

"Yeah, those names (Charles Woodson, Ty Law, and Marlin Jackson) came up during my recruitment," Warren told GBW when asked if he's heard the comparisons to others who stepped into starting roles as freshman in the secondary. "It's an honor for me to get compared to those guys. I'm just going to have to get into camp and fight for that job and things will work themselves out."

"I'm coming here to see the field early," he continued. "I want to start as a freshman, so I need to come in here and work hard at each and every practice and just do what I need to do to get on the field."

Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr certainly sees Warren playing a prominent role on defense this year as a distinct possibility. The aformentioned players are proof that it can be done. That said, whether it will remains to be seen.

“I think if you look back, Ty Law started as a true freshman, Marlin Jackson started as true freshman, and Charles Woodson started as a true freshman," Carr recalled. "I wouldn’t say it’s unusual. I think it takes a special player to do it. I wouldn’t count that out. These guys come in with enough hype. The expectations are great for all of them. I’m not going to add to that. Certainly we’re hoping. But until you get them on the field and you’ve been with them a couple of weeks through the drudgery of training camp and all of the meetings and see how they respond to that… for some guys physically and mentally, it becomes too much and they regress a little bit. We’ll just have to see.”

Warren attempted to get a leg up in his readiness by making the cross country trek to Ann Arbor this summer.

"I've been here for about a week this time, but I came during the summer for summer work outs and stuff like that," he said. "I've been down here for a while."

Due to his lack of experience at the collegiate level, one thing that Warren says he has done to try and accelerate the learning curve is make himself at home in the Michigan film study room. With senior Jamar Adams, Warren used his time at Michigan during the summer to expedite the process of learning what it takes to be a defensive back at the college level.

"The speed of the game is a lot quicker," acknowledged Warren. "But I think the biggest adjustment that I have to make is just being smarter on the field. I need to be able to know what the offense is going to do before they do it and just do a lot of film study. I think that's the main thing."

Despite the giant learning process ahead of him, the confidence level in this young man is tremendously high.

"I think I thrive on pressure or I wouldn't have become a cornerback," he said. "At cornerback you're always on an island with the wide receiver. I don't look at it as pressure. I see it as motivation to go out there and work hard."


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