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Uh-Oh In Ann Arbor? Wolverines Anxiously Awaiting News On Incoming Freshmen

Tim Cary

Only a week ago, everything seemed to be going swimmingly in Ann Arbor for second-year coach Rich Rodriguez.

At least, as well as it can go for a coach who went 3-9 last season at one of the greatest football programs in college football history.

Rodriguez even felt confident enough to toss out a joke about 2008, recalling "getting my brains beat in" when he spoke at the Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago.

But that quote isn't the one Wolverine fans will remember.

Instead, Michigan fans were rejoicing when they found out from Rodriguez that all of Michigan's incoming freshmen had qualified, as this Detroit Free Press article from July 27 relates.

Um, scratch that.
Turns out the guy Joe Tiller once called a snake oil salesman might have been selling his own fan base a line that wasn't quite rooted in reality.  At least, that's how it appears after Rodriguez admitted today on the radio that two defensive backs, Adrian Witty, and JT Turner, are still waiting for the go-ahead from the NCAA Clearinghouse (hat tip,

Again from the Free Press:

We've still got a couple that are working through clearinghouse issues," Rodriguez told WTKA-AM (1050). "This just recently came up. Just about all of them were here for the summer with the exception of a couple guys and those two are still not resolved. We're still waiting on Justin Turner to get some information in and hopefully that will be in before Sunday and within a week and the other one's Adrian Witty, who's got a test score we're still waiting on. He's kind of in limbo right now."

Jeremy Gallon's score came in and he qualified, so he should be squared away. So we're just waiting on Turner, Witty and hopefully one or both of them will get resolved very quickly. A lot of times with late test scores and schools being out in the summer, tougher to get those things in."

For a team desperately trying to erase one of the most disappointing seasons in school history, the news of possibly losing one or two promising freshman defensive backs to eligibility issues couldn't come at a worse time.  Just last week, Bleacher Report quoted senior defender Stevie Brown as singling out both Turner and Witty for the way they'd impressed new U-M defensive coordinator Greg Robinson.

Now, just because the players haven't qualified yet doesn't mean they're not going to, by any stretch of the imagination.  But for Maize and Blue supporters who thought Turner and Witty were already home free and ready to make a contribution from Day One, there will be a few more nail-biting days ahead.



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