Weight: 182 lbs.
High school: Olney (MD) Good Counsel
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #18
Last year: I ranked Countess #9 and said he would be the starting field corner with 55 tackles and 2 interceptions. He tore his ACL in the first quarter of the season opener and missed the rest of the year.
I was pretty hyped about Countess coming into the 2012 season, and I thought he would be one of the Big Ten's best corners. But on punt coverage in the season opener against Alabama, he came limping off the field, and things didn't look good. A torn ACL kept him out for the year, and he was replaced by Raymon Taylor (who coincidentally had very similar numbers - 45 tackles, 2 picks - to what I predicted for Countess). He was running by the spring, but the coaching staff held him out of all game-like activities to prevent re-injury.
Countess is full go now and has been practicing with the team this August. Observers say that he looks like the old Blake Countess, and the old Blake Countess was a 4-star recruit who picked off Devin Gardner in the 2012 spring game. Talent-wise, he might deserve to be higher on the list, but Michigan returns Taylor and Courtney Avery; additionally, junior Delonte Hollowell has received some practice buzz, and there are some other talented young guys. Countess is the best of the bunch right now, but corner is a position where young guys can contribute (as Countess did in 2011). If he stays healthy, I think the baseline for Countess will be honorable mention all-conference. There are a few other good corners to compete with for those all-conference honors (Purdue's Ricardo Allen, Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard, etc.), but Countess should give it a run.
Prediction: Starting cornerback; 55 tackles, 2 interceptions