Signing Day Capsule: Vlad Emilien

The "Hit Man" was once thought to be headed to the Wolverines' arch-rival, Ohio State. However, when the Buckeyes backed off, the Wolverines turned up the heat, and it paid off in November.

Vlad Emilien
Safety 6-1/190/4.5
Plantation HS (Plantation, Florida)
NR: *** Position Rank: 42 Player Video
Junior Highlights versus Miramar HS -

His Recruiting Story

During the early portion of his recruitment, it appeared that the Wolverines wouldn't stand a chance in landing Emilien. In fact, it had looked as if he was destined to become a Buckeye, which would have been a double hit for the Wolverines.

That all started to change as the Buckeyes backed off when Emilien went down with a knee injury, but the Wolverines stayed on him throughout the process.

"Michigan has stayed on me," he told GoBlueWolverine, "calling me and keeping in contact with me ... and I appreciate that."

It was enough to warrant a visit from the Plantation star in late October for the annual tilt against Michigan State. Even though the Wolverines fell that day, it didn't dampen Emilien's thoughts on the Maize and Blue.

"Michigan is always going to be Michigan," Emilien stated. "Everybody has a down season. Miami went 5-6 the other year and that was the first time they had a losing season in like 12 years. So everybody is going to have their downfall, but it's about how they bounce back and how they recruit. (It's about) who is eager to go out there and make Michigan what it used to be and what it could become. I want to be a part of that history."

Becoming a part of that history became a reality nearly a month later. On November 24th, 2008 he pulled the trigger on a commitment to Michigan.

"Michigan stayed with me; they showed me they will still be with me in tough times as well as good."

"When I visited Michigan, it felt just right to me at that time ... everything felt right."

GoBlueWolverine Commentary

Emilien is yet another standout from the state of Florida that has made the exodus to the North. Several think he may be underrated, as an injury kept him out most of his senior year. However, Scott Kennedy of is still very high on the "Hit Man."

"Excellent in run support, Emilien has terrific size and is a very physical safety. He reads the play well underneath and closes on short and intermediate routes well. He needs to improve in his pass defense, turn and close on the deep ball a little better. A strong safety candidate that is physical enough to play close to the line of scrimmage. Will improve his coverage with experience. He has an ideal frame for safety."

If his knee injury is fully healed by the time practice starts, Emilien could make a push in what's considered a weak U-M safety situation. The position is also very young, so it will be up to Emilien to show he belongs on the field early.

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