DJ Durkin and how to not be him
DIB (#44) was on track, then gone [Eric Upchurch]
This a surprise: redshirt freshman Deron Irving-Bey is transferring to CMU, and is already on campus there, according to Evan Petzold.
— Evan Petzold (@EvanPetzold) August 21, 2018
So that's sad, and pretty unexpected. Irving-Bey (recruiting profile) came to Michigan a sushi raw 4-star frame of promise who'd never had a D-line coach. The only down note was sour Spartans claiming they didn't really want him anyway a week before Irving-Bey left for the Army Bowl.
Irving-Bey wasn't being mentioned as part of the two-deep this year, but since he's just a redshirt freshman and had all the technique still to learn, even the sudden move of RS junior Carlo Kemp to 3-tech behind Mike Dwumfour and Lawrence Marshall didn't raise any flags. To the contrary, Irving-Bey was listed at near 300 pounds on the latest roster, and earned some nice words from Mattison two weeks ago at the start of fall camp:
Deron Irving-Bey looks like a different person. I mean his body has changed right in front of your eyes and he's really starting to feel more confident, and I think you're going to see some good things from him this season.
Given the timing and the fact there's a guy just one class ahead of DIB poised to seize the starting job for the foreseeable future, this seems like a standard playing-time deal. Except his path to playing time at Michigan was as clear as it's ever been. Of the four(!) guys Irving-Bey came in with who could potentially play the off-tackle position, classmates Aubrey Solomon went to nose immediately, Donovan Jeter followed him this summer, and Phil Paea and James Hudson switched to offensive line. It's doubtful anyone's pushing from behind yet: the 2018 class had three defensive end types who might grow into tackles, but Aidan Hutchinson is competing to be Winovich's backup, while Welschof and Upshaw are even bigger developmental projects than DIB was at this time last year.
Michigan could be fine with three years of Dwumfour (provided his 2016 gets a medical redshirt) and two more of Kemp, and Mattison has as good a record as anyone at developing interior linemen. Or Dwumfour could leave after this year for the NFL and Michigan could be down to Kemp, and whatever they can recruit or raid from other parts of the roster. Those recruits should include currently committed 5-star Chris Hinton, 4-star Mazi Smith, and 3-star Tyrece Woods, and Hinton at least seems likely to be able to help immediately.