After a strong week of practice in the days leading up to the Army All-American bowl earlier this month, Detroit Cass Tech cornerback Boubacar Cissoko had an up and down performance once game time actually rolled around. While his showing wasn’t the kind he envisioned, he definitely believes came away a better player for the experience.
“I feel good,” Cissoko said. “I had a blast down there in San Antonio. I had fun despite giving up the two touchdowns. I learned something. Now I have work on correcting my mistakes. I think one of the things I need to improve on shaking things off and not letting get beat once get to me.”
Now that he’s back home, Cissoko is focusing on his academics and getting a better feel for his new coaches. He took a big step toward increasing his familiarity with the staff yesterday when he received visits from three of them.
“They were (at the school) for about two hours,” Cissoko recalled. “It was Rodriguez, the defensive coordinator, Coach Shafer, and the wide receiver coach, Tony Dews. They were saying they need a corner like me and that I could help the defense and the special teams out.”
Cissoko took particular interest in what his future coaches had to say about their plans for the Michigan defense. The talented corner prospect was hoping to hear about an aggressive philosophy and a chance to play early. Rodriguez & company didn’t disappoint.
“Coach Rodriguez said we would run a 4-3, but that we would run some other things too,” he said. “It’s mostly the bump & run. That’s my game anyway. That’s not to say that bump & run is the only thing I can play, but that’s my thing. Bump & run is what I like doing. I believe one of the biggest weapons I’ve got is my jamming ability. I slow them down and take them off of their routes. But one of the things I learned down in San Antonio, you aren’t going to be able do that every play.”
“He said he’s going to give me a shot to play next year,” Cissoko continued. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a senior. If you’re playing the best, you’re going to get on the field. Coach Shafer was saying the same thing. He said he likes tough fast corners. He said he likes to blitz his corners a lot, and they like to bump & run. He said I’m a guy that can do that as a freshman. He said if I play to my potential, he is going to put me on the field. That’s what I’m looking for man. He is going to give me a fair shot. I’m really looking forward to that.”
In order to be as ready as possible when the fall rolls around, Cissoko knows he will have to spend a great deal of time studying the defense as well as training. Already in great physical condition, Cissoko is hoping to get in even better shape in the coming months. One of those whom he’ll seek help from is Michigan’s new strength coach Mike Barwis.
“I heard a lot about him,” said Cissoko. “Coach Rodriguez said in about a month or so he can make you stand on a medicine and actually throw another ball back and forth against the wall. That’s crazy!”
Another of Cissoko’s focuses is recruiting. He plans to do his part to help lure talent to Ann Arbor. He is already putting in work at his school with junior defensive tackle William Campbell and will try to do the same this weekend with top ranked quarterback, Terrelle Pryor.
“Will is only thinking hard about Michigan” Cissoko said. “He
still wants to go to Michigan. I think he’ll end up going to Michigan.
He’s going to look around because he is young. He is going to want to
take visits. That’s Will, man. He wants to have fun… all the time
(laughing). I’m just hoping Terrelle Pryor has fun this weekend. I hope
he enjoys himself. That’s the most important thing (laughing).