Former Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) four-star defensive back Demar Dorsey appeared to be another case of a prospect who had the world at his doorstep, but squandered his chance at success. However, Dorsey has not let his dream die and is now pursuing his goals with a program far from his south Florida home.
The 6-1, 185-pound Dorsey was the No. 162 ranked player in the Rivals250 and an UnderArmour All-American coming out of Boyd Anderson High in the 2010 class. He originally committed to Florida in the fall of his junior year of high school, but ultimately signed with Michigan. After failing to qualify for admission at Michigan, Dorsey tried other programs, but was unable to find a home and sat out the 2010 season.
This past spring, the south Florida native enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College in West Michigan, which put him alongside third year Raiders head coach Tony Annese. Annese had sent several of his players to the Division 1 level as the head coach of Muskegon (Mich.) High and has directed GRCC to a 20-4 record in his first two years with the program. His impression of Dorsey thus far has been high.
"The first thing I see that is the most positive is the fact that he has a great work ethic," Annese said. "He's really conscientious when it comes to drill work and doing the things he needs to do to get better. He has been so open to learn, whereas when he first got here he was close-minded about what he was going to do. His attitude has been a lot better, his work ethic is great and he's made a lot of progress."
Annese has several more Division 1 transfers and non-qualifiers on his roster this year, but noted that Dorsey's skill set matches the hype that accompanied him out of high school.
"He can run like the wind, and it is hard to coach speed," Annese said. "He has make-up speed like you wouldn't believe, and we saw that from the beginning, but he was kind of ragged on his backpedal and not as loose in his hips as we had hoped. He's improved a lot just in ball skills and worked on his hands."
Dorsey's move to GRCC and potential for still playing at the Division 1 level has attracted the attention of coaching staffs that have located the former four-star prospect.
"A lot of [coaches] check on him and say 'we want him when he leaves you,' kind of thing, so we're getting those phone calls," Annese said. "No one has really talked offers, they're just saying they want him. It's mostly SEC schools and schools in the south more so than schools up here right now.
"Demar won't take phone calls. I'll pass along his number during the time they can call, but right now he is just focused on getting better and being a part of our team. He's pretty close-minded about starting that whole thing again. I think he just wants to settle in here, do his best and what happens, happens down the road for him."
According to Annese, Dorsey's clock on his college eligibility has not yet begun because the freshman did not play last fall. His first priority, though, is correcting the main issue that prevented him from qualifying in the first place.
"His biggest issue is to focus on academics," Annese said. "He has to be a student first and if he is willing to do the things he needs to do as a student, we'll see if we can get him out early. We have a fast track plan for him to do so, and still have four years to play three at a Division 1 school."
The official beginning of Dorsey's college career occurs this Saturday when GRCC opens their 2011 campaign against Gattaca at Grand Rapids' Houseman Field.