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.
RIP, greatest name [Patrick Barron]
The 2016 wide receiver class is now entirely kaput per The Wolverine Lounge:
A move that’s been lingering, a source confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that McDoom was no longer in Ann Arbor for fall camp, and no longer with the program.
McDoom was a moderately spicy option on jet sweeps but almost unused otherwise until Michigan inexplicably started throwing him a bunch of fades; misused and apparently buried he's now gone. With little depth on the outside and Grant Perry graduating after the season McDoom seemed like he'd be in line for some playing time, even if it was just as a gadget player; Michigan's failure to deploy him in a sensible way is a bit frustrating. Hopefully having an actual WR coach will help Michigan develop a problem spot more effectively.
This does explain why Michigan's busy taking multiple slots in the 2019 class.
It has been pointed out to me that we never officially bon voyaged Kekoa Crawford, who like Kareem Walker was in the Schrodinger transfer box for a few months here. There is still no official announcement but like Tyrone Wheatley Jr he is also not on the roster, so that's good enough.
The kaiju dream is dead:
— Josh Henschke (@JoshHenschke) August 3, 2018
We got an insider report a few days ago that this was likely because Wheatley arrived at fall camp OT-sized and didn't want to move to a spot—OL or DT—where a 300-pound person generally goes on the football field. When Wheatley was around the right weight he looked like a potential star, but maintaining was never in the cards for whatever reason.
Michigan should be fine with returning starters in Sean McKeon and Zach Gentry plus third-year player Nick Eubanks; this might accelerate one of the incoming TEs if they're ready. Since Wheatley was almost exclusively a blocker last year they might be able to get away with jumbo OL snaps and keep that extra year around for Mustapha Muhammad, who'd presumably be the next guy in line.
Please keep MGoBlog in your thoughts as we place our Tyrone Wheatley Jr shrine next to Dennis Norfleet's in the Basement Of Sadness.
Kareem Walker's departure was reported by Toledo sports anchor Jordan Strack over a month ago but nothing resembling official word came from either Walker or the program so he (and Kekoa Crawford) existed in this Schrodinger world where if we open the box we're pretty damn sure the cat has transferred but don't actually know, you know? Whoah.
Anyway, box open, cat is headed to JUCO:
Fort Scott Community College head coach Kale Pick told reporters at the recent Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference football media day event Walker has signed to play with Fort Scott for the 2018 season.
Pick said Walker signed with his program Friday.
Walker had a hard time keeping up with his academics at Michigan and that's probably what got him in the end. Anyone who mentioned him privately said he was a nice kid and not a guy who'd get in trouble.
Walker flashed the ability to run guys over and some quickness that made him a highly touted back in scattered snaps and still has a good shot at being a productive D-I back after this season. Michigan returns its top two RBs from a year ago, so Walker's departure is more about what happens in 2019 and 2020.
don't fade unless you have Jeremy Gallon [Eric Upchurch]
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Hoeg Law: when you figure out what an atomic sled is. We are good at ads.
The goal line fade! Don't do it. Data from NFL two-point conversions:
Coaches! Check out my article on two-point conversions. I recorded every 2-point conversion attempt from the past 7 NFL seasons and did a statistical analysis on the success rates of the different play calls.https://t.co/DmRIty477F pic.twitter.com/N994fxn253
— Noah Riley (@NoahRiley21) July 8, 2018
Also intriguing that every color commentator's favorite option—the rollout pass—is the second-worst decision. Probably because everyone in the world thinks it's a good decision.
Slot corner. The Athletic engages Mike Renner of PFF to detail Michigan's 2019 NFL draft prospects. Many of the same stats you've seen on PFF's tweets—David Long's silly numbers, Chase Winovich's general relentlessness—feature but the most interesting new bit is a negative one on Tyree Kinnel. Not a surprising one, really:
Kinnel was a full-time safety for Michigan who also covered the slot at times. In the NFL and in college, he projects much better to the former. On 91 snaps covering the slot, he allowed 208 yards and a passer rating of 110.7. As a deep safety, he looked much more comfortable.
It is my contention that opposition WRs caught more than their fair share of heavily contested balls against Kinnel a year ago and that even if he's the same player that should be less of an issue this year. But if they've got three really good corners they should probably put one on the slot whenever the opposition has a passing down.
Some good news from the article is that PFF doesn't think Hudson has an NFL position right now and Lavert Hill isn't a slam dunk early entry guy, so Michigan could get them back next year.
[After the JUMP: lies, damned lies, and rosters.]
[lead image: Bryan Fuller]
Two fairly major NCAA rule changes just came down the pipe, and both are unambiguously good. #1 is an elimination of most transfer restrictions:
The Division I Council adopted a proposal this week that creates a new “notification-of-transfer” model. This new system allows a student to inform his or her current school of a desire to transfer, then requires that school to enter the student’s name into a national transfer database within two business days. Once the student-athlete’s name is in the database, other coaches are free to contact that individual.
The "most" in the previous sentence is because of this: "Conferences, however, still can make rules that are more restrictive than the national rule." Many conferences had extra restrictions against intra-conference transfers as of about a decade ago; as anyone who's followed the success talismans known as Beilein grad transfers knows, the Big Ten did away with theirs in 2012. I'm not sure if other conferences have followed suit. I kind of doubt the SEC has since bolting for juco for one year and then bouncing back to another conference school is a fairly common practice.
This hereby ends the irritating news cycle that goes:
- Player Wants To Transfer
- School Says Player Can't Go To Various Schools
- "Sorry, Sorry, I'm Trying To Delete It" Says School
- Player Goes To Iowa State Anyway
So it's got that going for us. Also a slight inch away from NCAA serfdom.
[After THE JUMP: suspense! what's the other rule change! crap i shouldn't have mentioned it in the title]
Dives. Washtenaw County dive bars surveyed. Self-recommending header picture is above. Also:
It turned out that the day that worked best for us to embark on the trip was a random Tuesday at the end of May. “Are dive bars open on Tuesdays?” I texted my friend. “They are if they want to be considered BEST OF WASHTENAW COUNTY,” he responded.
The penguin is in Saline, FWIW.
I guess this is all but official? We've been waiting for an official confirmation, or at least more than one person reporting, on this for a while now:
Jim Harbaugh referenced 2 players leaving Michigan yesterday...I’m told that internet speculation is true: Kareem Walker & Kekoa Crawford are transferring.
— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) June 5, 2018
As a result we haven't talked about a piece of news since we were waiting to post their respective Exits. /shakes fist at transfer gray areas
Assuming this turns out to be true—and given the way Harbaugh has talked about the RB and WR groups since spring it's almost certainly true—that's two highly ranked guys out the door. Crawford's departure is probably the result of a plunge down the depth chart that saw him omitted from any spring discussion; that plunge down the depth chart is not a surprise given his flatly terrible play in 2017.
Walker flashed promise as a Brandon Minor-esque rage back in limited carries last year and would be an unfortunate loss. He'd publicly struggled with the transition to Michigan but seemed to get things on track last year; it would be really disappointing if he couldn't manage it, and Michigan could help him enough to do so.
Neither departure is likely to have much impact on the field this year; Michigan returns its top two backs and every WR outside of Crawford. Walker's presumed absence could bite next year.
FWIW, I wouldn't start getting worried about O'Maury Samuels yet. Harbaugh's mention of Tru Wilson as the #3 guy on the depth chart was immediately followed by a Samuels mention and a reference to his hamstring holding him back this spring. Meeanwhile, the WRs:
"I feel like our wide receivers have come along," Harbaugh told reporters during the 'Best of the Midwest' event. "Coach Mac has done a great job coaching them. Tarik, Donovan have probably done the best job of anybody in spring practice. Nate Schoenle, Oliver Martin, Nico Collins also did extremely well. Nico was slowed a little bit by a shoulder. Was going for a ball when we were working with pads and hurt his shoulder. He fought through that. I think he's got some real good upside. Those four guys there probably had the best spring."
Those four guys are actually five guys and Crawford is not amongst them. The lines are not hard to read between.
[After THE JUMP: FULLBACK TALK]
Per his Twitter, sophomore SG/SF Ibi Watson plans to transfer.
During my time at the University Michigan I have learned and experienced so much. I enjoyed the relationships and memories that I made. Thank you to the coaching staff and my teammates for making my experience so great! After much thought, I have decided to explore other options. pic.twitter.com/tlCQrqQKek
— Ibi Watson (@ibi_watson_2) April 12, 2018
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.