[Tom Beaver's note: Talley was getting noticeable attention from Coach Lloyd Carr after the game in the Crisler tunnel.]
Michigan Junior to Watch: Ronald Talley
Name: Ronald Talley
School: Detroit Renaissance
Position: Defensive End
Weight: 240 lbs.
Forty: 4.80 (electronic) sec.
2002 Honors: Detroit News Honorable Mention Class B All-State (LB); Detroit News Honorable Mention All-Metro Detroit (L); Detroit Free Press First Team All-Detroit (DE); Detroit News Second Team All-Detroit (L).
One player who reportedly received a lot of attention from Michigan coaches at the Ohio State basketball game the other week was Renaissance DE Ronald Talley. We've known about Ronald since his sophomore year at Renaissance and believe me when I say that he is a youngster that U-M is giving serious attention. The defensive line will be a position of need in the upcoming recruiting season and Ronald will be at or near the top of the list of in-state targets.
Renaissance head coach William Hill, one of the real gentlemen in the PSL, had this to say about Ronald in mid-February: "Ronald was a junior starter at offensive tackle and defensive end. As a senior we will play him at tight end on offense and he will continue to start at defensive end. He's 6-4, 240 and ran a 4.8 electronic forty. He doesn't run that 4.5 forty, but he does run a legitimate 4.8. He is also extremely strong. He will be attending the Nike combine this spring and I think that he will make a pretty good showing. He has a 3.4 GPA and will take the ACT for the first time in April. Most college coaches project Ronald at defensive end at the next level. He has extremely large hands and long arms. He's an extremely tenacious player. He will be a very good defensive player in college. He's extremely aggressive. Once he sets foot on the football field he is extremely mean. When he leaves the field he's an extremely friendly person, bright and a smart student. He's very coachable. I have already spoken to Eric Campbell twice about Ronald and he is very much recruiting him. I just sent film out to Michigan on Ronald last week, but I know that they have already seen film on him from his sophomore year when they were looking at a couple of our seniors. Eric has also seen Ronald in person. He told me they like him. Of course, at this early stage, coaches will tell me this about everyone they see to keep their options open. With Ronald, however, they seem to be really serious about him. He is a very impressive prospect. He just looks like a man and comes across as a man. He has an extremely deep voice and is very articulate. He will be a very, very, very good player at the next level. He could easily play at Michigan or another top-level school. We are building up his strength and working on his lateral movement. Lateral movement is his biggest weakness, in fact it's his only weakness that I can see, but it will improve because he is working hard at it. I see him weighing 260 in the next year. He doesn't weigh that much now because he is not playing basketball this year. As a sophomore he was the starting center on the varsity basketball team that reached the state semifinals (and featured classmates Joe Crawford and Malik Hairston). He will definitely play basketball again as a senior but this year he wanted to focus on football. He has no offers yet from schools, but the entire Big Ten except Michigan State is in contact, as are Florida, Minnesota and Boston College. I think that he's the best prospect of all the kids I've had at Renaissance over the years. We have sent six kids to Duke (Renaissance is an academic magnet school in Detroit) and we have Stefan Hopkins playing at Minnesota and an All-MAC tight end at Western who is a pro prospect. Ronald is a better prospect than all of them."
An opposing head coach had this to say about him on January 29, 2003: "He's a kid with good hands and is smooth. I don't know enough about him to say at what level he projects."
Here is what the Detroit Free Press had to say when naming him All-Detroit:: "DE RONALD TALLEY School: Renaissance. Class: Junior. Size: 6-4, 235 pounds. Highlights: Three-year starter. Made 129 tackles, including 58 solos and 19 for a loss. Also had eight sacks. Coach William Hill: ‘He possesses great strength, and he's very smart. He's got very large hands and arms and uses all that to his advantage. Even though he's a junior, he's really been the leader of our team.' 3.4 GPA."