Smith is quick but due to his funny running style, he lacks that all important closing speed. This will not be a loss for the defense. However, his special teams play was admirable and that part of his game may be missed.
Brandon Smith has left the team?
This is a diferent era, and kids have a lot more information and instant contact with other players all over the country without running up unaffordable phone bills. Also, this generation of players seems to be a lot less patient about playing time than others have been. I think a lot of it could also be their parents telling them they are "better" than they really are, and pressuring them to leave any situation they deem "unacceptable."
It's not just UM, but it's pretty much everywhere now. Kids who don't get what they want right now go to the next place that tells them they will get what they want. Usually, they still don't get what they want at the next place, but by then they apparently either don't want to go through the BS again or they mature and become humbled by finally percieving their own limitations. The difference at UM is that it is harder to accept transfer students than it is at other universities, so the out/in ratio gets skewed compared to other schools.
Anyway, stuff happens. UM will be fine. As for Smith, I'm neutral. I don't wish him ill, but I don't wish him good luck, either. I would rather save my wishes for players who play at UM.
If he creates a shitstorm on the way out, though, I reserve the right to wish bad things for him.
I would also throw in the higher profile recruiting has taken on in recent years. Not only do these kids have coaches blowing smoke up their ass for, in some cases, a few years before they get on campus, but they also have people from the five different websites covering each of the teams they are considering calling them constantly and hanging on their every word. They all probably think they deserve more than they are getting when the reality of playing in a top-notch D-1 program hits home.
Emmanuel Moody stands out to me as a prime example of this. He left USC despite getting carries early in his career because they had a big group of highly touted tailbacks, then he transferred to Florida where he has probably seen the field even less. There are probably tons of other examples, too, but I think you are right on with respect to how many players react when the reality of college football doesn't meet their pre-signing day expectations.
Mustain was a pretty highly touted QB who went to Arkansas, transferred to USC and is now holding a clipboard as a third stringer at USC.
Meanwhile, Mallett is putting up HUGE numbers at Arkansas in Bobby Petrino's pass happy offense.
Of course, the ultimate "transfer at the first sign of adversity" guy has got to be Steve Threet. GA Tech, UM, now ASU. I'd be willing to bet that he transfers at least one more time. What's odd is that he keeps transferring to other BCS schools. You'd think he'd realize that he needs to drop down to FCS or even Div II if he wants a shot at seeing the field.
I think his issue had more to do with Arkansas hiring his high school coach (Malzahn) to get him and his teammates to come play for the Razorbacks, then canning him halfway through their freshman season. With the success Gus has had since leaving Arkansas, I don't think you can blame him and Williams (who has been a stud receiver at SC) for leaving.
I was more referring to guys who think they deserve to be "the man" no matter what, only to find out that there is tough competition for playing time at any big-time football program.
LB/S Brandon Smith will go home for the holidays and determine his future at Michigan. Hope the kid stays, if not . The issue is Smith wants to play S and Michigan saying he outgrew the position and is now a LB.