Before he became an assistant coach at Michigan, Chris Partidge was the head coach at Paramus Catholic, one of the top high school programs in New Jersey. One of his players was Rashan Gary.
This week, Gary, a projected first-round pick in the NFL Draft, has seen his share of outside criticism. First, it was because of his reportedly low Wonderlic score.
Then came a new report saying his shoulder had been "flagged" by NFL teams resulting from a torn labrum he suffered at Michigan. All in all, not how you want to roll into the draft as an elite prospect.
That brings us back to Partridge. The current Michigan special teams coordinator and safeties coach released a passionate statement in defense of Gary on Twitter tonight, outlining how he overcame dyslexia to become an All-Big Ten academic performer and how he played through his shoulder injury.
"Dont worry about those who hate, they are miserable for a reason. Keep your dreams in front of you and the clowns behind you!" Partridge wrote.
Gary acknowledged Partridge's tweet with one of his own.
Based on this, plus my own interactions with Gary when he was a high school recruit, the former five-star definitely seems like the type of prospect worth rooting for this week and beyond.
We'll see where he is ultimately picked this weekend.