February 9, 2010

Dorsey motivated, looking for chance to start over

Demar Dorsey was barely a Wolverine, a little more than 24 hours, before his world was turned upside down - a story in the Detroit Free Press bringing to light his checkered past in opining he should not be at Michigan. His coach has a very clear message for anyone that agrees with the newspaper …

"I guess whatever sells is what they're going to write, but this could have been a much different story," Boyd H. Anderson coach Mark James said. "He decided not to go to Florida, not to go to Florida State, and a big reason why was because he wanted a change of environment.

"He wanted a second chance. A chance to start over, in a new place, with new people … where he could be the young man he's grown into this past year as opposed to the young man that made a lot mistakes a few years ago.

"It's too bad that he's already been labeled [a criminal] up there because he was so excited to head up to Michigan and start from scratch."

The 6-0, 175-pound Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., native, for those who missed the story was arrested twice, when he was 16 for robbery with a deadly weapon and when he was 17 for robbery of an unoccupied building. On the first count, Dorsey confessed to a pair of burglaries but did not face jail time after going through a diversion program for juvenile offenders. He repeated the program as part of an agreement for the second arrest also.

Certainly, he is a high-risk, high-reward player, but James insists that every program that recruited Dorsey vetted the young man's past and came away convinced he had a bright future.

"It's not like he's sitting here running from his past, saying 'I didn't do anything wrong,'" James acknowledges. "He knows he made some very big mistakes, but he's owned up to those mistakes and he accepts that he will be judged, fairly or unfairly, before he even steps foot on their campus. But it doesn't matter to Demar because he's out to prove himself and prove to everyone that is criticizing him now that he is a different person and has turned his life around.

"I'd be shocked if there is a single incident during his career at Michigan because this is a young man that is so motivated to prove people wrong that I truly believe he will have a squeaky clean four years there.

"I have so much faith in him. He is just so determined to start over and I really hope everyone up there gives him that opportunity."

If Dorsey does, in fact, show the maturation his coach believes he will, the Wolverines could benefit greatly. The versatile defensive back, ranked a four-star prospect and the No. 162 player nationally by Rivals.com (we'd be remiss not to point out he's ranked the No. 12 prospect in the country by ESPN.com), could play cornerback or safety at U-M.

"He played cornerback his first two years for us and was a shutdown guy - you didn't even throw to his side - but then we realized he could be even better at safety so we moved him his junior year and he picked off everything," James said. "He had 14 interceptions this year and teams became so scared of throwing to the middle of the field."

According to James, Dorsey has been laser timed at 4.25 seconds. That speed came in handy on both sides of the ball, where he averaged 12.5 yards per rush and 17.8 yards per reception as a senior on 49 combined offensive touches.

"My statement when the year began for us, when he went down and played in the Under Armour All-Star Game and still today is that he is the best player, on both sides of the ball, in the country," James said. "If there is someone better, show me. I keep getting names, keep watching video, and I haven't seen it yet.

"He's just such a phenomenal natural athlete. If he picked up a basketball, I have every confidence he'd be an all-state player in one year. He's just such an amazing competitor and he has better physical skills than anyone I've seen in a long, long time."

When Dorsey arrives in Ann Arbor this summer, he'll let his play on the field do his talking. The family felt burned by the Free Press expose and they've shut off communication to the media.

"I have a feeling that in a year or two, everybody is going to begging to talk to him, for all the right reasons," James said.

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