Ross Douglas is a unique type of football player. He was once a commit of Penn State before they were hammered with the sanctions of the fall out from Jerry Sandusky, and what had happened in Happy Valley. Once the sanctions were issued to PSU, Douglas decided to de-commit and commit to the University of Michigan.
While Douglas will be playing cornerback in college, he was a two-way beast while playing high school ball. Douglas played running back and cornerback for his high school team, so you know there has to be some sort of speed from this talented ATH. He runs a 4.50 40 time, which isn’t incredibly awful, and it won’t blow you away either. He has good speed for a player at his position, which is something you’d want to see out of a cornerback. Good size at 5′-10, 181 pounds, and is very physical for a CB. I don’t think that he should be placed one on one with players, but he is a nice complement to a defense, mainly because he is an inch or two taller than some corners coming into college. Douglas should be the type of player who comes out of high school, into college, and plays the nickel position early. A lot of that has to do with the lack of “shut down” ability, but Mattison could tinker with him and his mechanics a bit, and hopefully it will develop some of that shut down skills. Douglas, to me, is more of a player who is a compliment to defenses, rather than the star of one. That’s not saying Douglas can’t play because he can, however, he isn’t a player like Darrell Revis, or Prince Amukamara was at Nebraska.
Douglas will improve once he gets to the college level and could focus mainly on his defensive skills, something that he didn’t get to do while in high school. Mattison will fall in love with this guy, he is a strong player for his position, and shows that he could make tackles in the open field, and while plays are still developing. He isn’t going to blow you away while watching the film, he’s not that type of player, but he is just an overall good football player. He plays the ball well, but not as well as you would like out of a commit that you’d like to see dominate his side of the ball. He doesn’t really do anything flashy or head-turning, but is a solid player that could contribute to the defense that is coming into Michigan. His lack of fluidity while covering is something he will have to work on, but his recovery speed will help that out while he is still learning.
Overall, Douglas is a player who is just solid across the ball, and should be a nice addition and compliment to Mattison’s defense. Not that he couldn’t play early, it is just that he will have to learn on the fly, and play nickel if he’ll want to play early. He is a player with great upside, and should be nice to have during his tenure in Ann Arbor. He has the ability to be a good corner, and he reminds me of former Wolverine, J.T. Floyd. With a defensive line class that is coming in with big names and high hopes, he will get his fair share of opportunities to intercept passes because of the pressure that will be applied to the quarterback, and will get his opportunity to intercept passes that are thrown up or thrown away. Douglas has the skills, and hopefully he finds a nice home at one of the corner positions by the time he’s graduated.
As always, Go Blue!