Exit Ibi Watson

Exit Ibi Watson

Submitted by Seth on April 12th, 2018 at 8:31 PM

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[Marc-Grégor Campredon]

Per his Twitter, sophomore SG/SF Ibi Watson plans to transfer.

An exit for Ibi has been speculated ever since he got passed by fellow wing/wonderhair twin Jordan Poole, who’s a year younger, and poised to start at the two next year. Watson was already well under the 10% of minutes threshold between “limited roles” and “benchwarmers” this year, seeing his last significant minutes well after the Texas A&M rout was on. The last time Ibi was on the court extensively for a competitive game was LSU, and that performance was bad enough to give Poole his first crack.

With Charles Matthews likely returning and Adrian Nunez and Iggy Bazdeikis arriving this summer playing time wasn’t going to be any easier to find on next year’s squad even if you don’t count the backup point guards siphoning off winger minutes. Beilein also was poking around South Dakota grad transfer Matt Mooney, a 6’3” point guard who played half of USD’s minutes at the two last year, as of this week.

Michigan now has a scholarship for every player and commit for 2018-’19, with another spot likely to open up if Wagner goes to the NBA.

Exit: Ian Bunting

Exit: Ian Bunting

Submitted by Seth on January 30th, 2018 at 6:22 PM

See you when you’re back, Bunting.

Via Baumgardner, Ol’ Skillet Hands, er, senior tight end Ian Bunting plans to transfer for his final year of eligibility:

This site especially had high hopes for Bunting—as the original prospectin’ name suggests—as a dangerous receiving tight end. When Bunting seamlessly replaced Mackey Award-winner Jake Butt in the Orange Bowl last year it wasn’t hard to project the then-rising junior as heir apparent.

Despite more snaps for tight ends than any year since Bo—yes, I’ve tracked this—Bunting rarely cracked the rotation behind emerging stars Sean McKeon and Zach Gentry, not to mention Nick Eubanks. With a new position coach, his degree in hand, his path to playing time blocked by younger, upwardly mobile catchy-catchy-blocky tight ends*, and his eligibility running out, Bunting’s transfer makes plenty of sense. We’ll always have the Orange Bowl. He should be eligible to play immediately wherever he goes, and Michigan should be okay with the kids.

On a personal note, I’m saddened he never got to star at Michigan. I lost my dad at 34 and promptly got drunk for a week—Ian, not old enough to buy himself a beer when it happened to him—was at practice the next day. He has since been a major presence with the Michigan Relay for Life charity, which helps raise money for cancer research.

* [Tyrone Wheatley Jr. is more of a blocky-blocky-catchy tight end and not necessarily competing for all the same chances.]

Jeremy Clark Not Granted Sixth Year

Jeremy Clark Not Granted Sixth Year

Submitted by Ace on January 23rd, 2017 at 11:30 AM


[Eric Upchurch]

According to Inside The Huddle's Michael Spath, the NCAA has denied Jeremy Clark's petition for a sixth year of eligibility:

Clark started seven games at cornerback in 2015 and three in 2016 before tearing his ACL against Penn State. The former three-star safety recruit was a critical component to the last couple secondaries, battling Channing Stribling to a relatively even draw for playing time until the injury.

Without Clark, Michigan will be very inexperienced at cornerback in 2017. Redshirt junior Brandon Watson, who's seen scattered snaps at nickel, is the only upperclassman at the position. Sophomore Lavert Hill and David Long are the favorites to earn starting spots; they'll compete with redshirt sophomore Keith Washington and freshmen Ambry Thomas and Benjamin St-Juste. Unless Michigan picks up another corner in the 2017 class—it looks like they'll get one more—that is the entire group of scholarship corners for next season.

Exit: Wyatt Shallman

Exit: Wyatt Shallman

Submitted by Seth on January 19th, 2017 at 4:46 PM

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As you likely expected/dreaded by now, Wyatt Shallman’s Michigan career is over. Degree in hand, Wyatt announced on Twitter this afternoon that he’ll pursue a grad transfer for his final year of eligibility:

Injuries held Shallman back from seeing the field for most of his time here. At his first fall practice observers noted Shallman was doing hamstring exercises and a redshirt was all but certain. He took one handoff in the blessedly forgettable App State game, and appeared sparingly on special teams in 2014. Going into 2015 Sam Webb reported a strained calf, and several weeks later Shallman tweeted a photo of himself about to go into surgery. Later that season he took three handoffs late in the Rutgers game, blowing through a couple of tacklers for one thunderous five-yard gain that suddenly reminded us of the player Michigan thought it was getting. But with Michigan’s crowded backfield, Shallman could never seem to break into the running back rotation; if they tried him at fullback it never seemed to stick long enough for the public to get a read.

Off the field, well, we’ve made little secret here that he’s been one of our favorite players since his recruitment—tags on this site include wyatt shallman’s mushroom hair, wyatt shallman’s ferrett, wyatt shallman’s wallaby, and wyatt shallman is metal af. Shallman committed to Michigan early (he was #2 of that 9-commit-a-palooza in February 2012) and was instrumental in helping to build that particularly close 2013 class. If he ever had police show up at his door it was because of a habit of adopting interesting fauna. His playful viking personality was just one of many reasons Michigan fans were excited to see Shallman on the field since his junior year of high school.

That recruiting excitement included three sites (Rivals punted and called him an ATH) ranking him #1 or #2 in the country at his position (fullback), despite that not actually being his position. All rated him 4 stars and around the 6th to 10th player in a strong in-state class, but just about everyone needed a long time to be convinced Shallman wasn’t playing DE, TE, FB, H-back, or whatever. For their part Michigan made it clear he was offered as a running back despite Derrick Green and De’Veon Smith in the class, and each time someone checked in Wyatt was still a back, albeit one who could do lots of other things. Personally I think I finally came over to the idea when Harbaugh arrived, since “multi-purpose, super-athletic, lion-maned, exotic creature-adopting, 260-pound running back” sounded like a thing that should totally happen in a Harbaughffense.

Now we’ll be rooting for someone else to tap that delightful potential. Root strongly—this is a guy who’s been a pleasure to cover over the last four years, and who has done about as much for Michigan as you can from the sidelines.

Exit Brian Cole

Exit Brian Cole

Submitted by Seth on January 28th, 2016 at 4:43 PM

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Floating away [photo: Eric Upchurch|MGoBlog]

Ungh.

We had heard persistent rumors all season that Cole was on thin ice after mounting violations of a thing that probably wouldn't have been a thing if it happened just once. Or twice. Insiders last summer thought he was already on the rails but around bowl practices it seemed he'd finally put that behind him. Apparently it happened again after/during the bowl trip, and Cole got the Kelly Baraka boot sometime before last week.

Cole saw a little bit of action early on as a special teamer, and some snaps at slot receiver after Grant Perry had a bad first outing. After that he was either injured (Scout, 247) or deep in the doghouse (Rivals) depending on what service you subscribed to. Then around bowl season it seemed he was in the clear and practicing at safety according to comments by Royce Jenkins-Stone. It seems Rivals (and maybe all of them) got this one right.

Damage: The move to safety made plenty of sense; his elite athleticism was badly needed given Michigan's depth chart after next year reads Tyree Kinnel and whatever they get out of this year's haul. Plan on seeing at least one and probably two of the freshmen on the field as everyone tries out for the post-Dymonte/Hill era. And unless some players emerge there I wouldn't be surprised if the coaches were shopping the grad transfer ranks once they've seen the position shake out next spring.

Scholarship update: Michigan now has 23 scholarships available. With three special teamers/former walk-ons they don't have to count until fall and seven in the 2016 class enrolled and back-dateable they're not going to have any trouble signing all the guys they want on Wednesday. Expected and the usual unexpected losses should make that a whopping 31(!) available spots for new guys before you have to worry if guys are going to be cut.

[UPDATE: Michigan has 24 spots right now with two to four fifth years who might go through spring trying to earn a spot. We expect 2-4 additional departures if Michigan does go to the 30 number that's been tossed around. -BC]

Spike Done

Spike Done

Submitted by Seth on December 11th, 2015 at 9:45 AM

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[Bryan Fuller]

The worst press release ever:

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan men's basketball senior guard Spike Albrecht announced today (Friday, Dec. 11) he has elected to step away from the court for the remainder of the season. He will concentrate on his continued recovery and the rehabilitation process following bilateral hip surgery this past summer.

"This has been the toughest decision I have ever had to make," said Albrecht. "After taking a hard look at what is best for me, and this team, I will be stepping away from the game that has meant so much to me.

"I am so thankful for what Coach Beilein, the assistants and the medical staff have done for me during my career and in particular over the last year while I was dealing with this injury. I just have a little more to go and I really need to take the proper time to finish my rehab.

"The University of Michigan has provided me and my family so much, I don't really even have the words to express my gratitude. This place is truly special and I hope I was able to leave just a little bit of a mark during my career. I cannot thank Wolverine nation enough for all the love and support they have shown me throughout my four years here. Forever and always -- Go Blue!"

"This has been an agonizing decision for Spike, especially at this juncture of the season," said U-M head coach John Beilein. "He has done so much to get back to this point, but his long-term health is what is most important now and in the future. We want only the best for Spike.

"He is a tremendous young man, who has had a very special career. His important role in our 2013 NCAA Tournament run and his incredible performance in the national title game were straight out of a storybook. His sophomore year we would not have won the Big Ten title or made a second straight trip in the Elite Eight without him.

"He has proven time and time again what heart and determination can do. Even last year, he played through so much pain, but held the team together and guided us through tough times."

Albrecht played in 115 career games for the Wolverines. A two-time team captain, he was named Michigan's co-MVP last season after starting 18 of 31 games and posting a career-best 7.5 points per game.

As a freshman, he played in all 39 games and helped U-M reach the Final Four for the first time in 20 years as well as tie the school record for wins (31). It was his 17-point performance in the national title game against Louisville that will see him remembered for years to come.

Albrecht guided U-M to a second straight Elite Eight appearance as a sophomore as the Wolverines lost on a last second-shot to Kentucky to miss a second straight Final Four. That same season, he played in all 37 games and helped the Maize and Blue to its first outright Big Ten title in 28 years.

He would be eligible to take a medical redshirt and return next year, but from the way they’re talking about this it seems clear his career over-over. It is a tribute to Spike how much that utterly sucks.

Exit Antonio Poole

Exit Antonio Poole

Submitted by Brian on July 24th, 2013 at 11:10 AM

UPDATE: Hoke confirms that Poole is done-done.

898371[1]Maybe? Antonio Poole is off the Michigan roster:

The redshirt sophomore is not on the Wolverines' roster that was released Wednesday at the Big Ten media days in Chicago, but has not left the team, according to a program spokesman. Coach Brady Hoke is expected to address the linebacker's status later Wednesday.

I believe that means he's destined for a medical scholarship, but Meinke says he's just off the roster for "this season." The door seems open to a return.

Unofficial word is that Poole's torn pectoral never really healed; I'd heard this (as well as) Kaleb Ringer's also injury-related departure) was coming last fall. Michigan's linebacker recruiting is now explained, yes?

Poole's issues won't affect the two-deep, which has James Ross and Royce Jenkins-Stone at WLB. If Poole does end up not coming back it would open up another slot for this year's recruiting class, which would stands at 15 kids plus any further attrition. Given the way Michigan is recruiting it appears they are planning on a class of 18-20.