Exit Kingston Davis

Exit Kingston Davis

Submitted by Brian on March 24th, 2017 at 3:04 PM

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I guess he really really didn't want to play fullback [Eric Upchurch]

Per Sam Webb, Kingston Davis is set to transfer.

Davis got a few carries early last year before an apparent redshirt. Meanwhile the quick emergence of Chris Evans and Kareem Walker navigating some rocky early waters makes the depth chart look tough indeed for anyone in the same class, as Davis was.

With Davis's transfer, the expected departure of Shelton Johnson would bring Michigan down to 85 before spring practice. That means no fifth years are potential cuts even if everyone else sticks it out.

Exit: Devin Asiasi

Exit: Devin Asiasi

Submitted by Seth on February 21st, 2017 at 9:41 PM

Sorry to bump down Hutchinson but this is bigger news.

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[Eric Upchurch]

This one hurts. After rumors he hadn’t returned all semester, and that Michigan was apparently doing everything short of moving California to get him back, sophomore tight end Devin Asiasi is transferring to a school closer to home for personal reasons. Apparently now it’s official, via Harbaugh, via Baumgardner.

As just a true freshman Asiasi was one of the best blocking tight ends at Michigan in recent memory, and showed plenty of receiving ability to make him a major dual threat. There are plenty of other tight ends on the roster, and RS sophomore TJ Wheatley can fulfill much the same role. Still, this is still a major, major bummer. This is a player on the verge of stardom who was a perfect fit for the Michigan offense, and given the youth all over that side of the ball we were really looking forward to having at least this weapon at Harbaugh’s disposal.

As an additional knife, likely destinations for Asiasi include UCLA, where he would rejoin Jedd Fisch and best friend Boss Tagaloa (Jim Mora Jr.’s program has been a weird thorn in Michigan’s side lately despite going 8-5 and  4-8 the last two seasons). Asiasi also could wind up at USC, Cal, Stanford, or anywhere else that’s not here.

/shakes fist

Exit David Dawson

Exit David Dawson

Submitted by Seth on January 1st, 2017 at 6:01 PM

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[Bill Rapai]

Senior OG Dave Dawson announced today on Twitter that he does not plan on returning for his grad year:

Despite a relatively soft depth chart and high rankings as a recruit (the sites rated him around the same spot as they did fellow Technician Michael Onwenu) the big Cass Tech product struggled to crack the lineup in four years. Offensive line recruits are notoriously late to develop and hard to predict, however the more time spent behind some below-average starters the less likely it seemed that Dawson would meet the expectations of a top-150ish prospect.

The closest Dawson came to starting was in the 2015 offseason, when classmate Patrick Kugler was hurt, Dawson returned from the offseason 20 pounds heavier, and practice rumors suggested he was pressing Braden at left guard. This site held out hope that Harbaugh and Drevno would manage to tap the potential of a guy Joe Mathis described as “one mean cuss” coming out of high school.

Dawson was running with the ones while starting right guard Kalis was nursing something just last August, but remained buried all season despite plenty of opportunities for OL to crack the lineup. Kugler earned an early start at left guard in place of Braden, and true freshman Ben Bredeson passed both RS juniors to start the remainder of the season at left guard once Newsome went down and Braden shifted out to left tackle. Onwenu, also a true freshman, siphoned seasoning snaps at right guard during this year’s garbage time, but Dawson played some right tackle against Illinois and even a little defensive tackle in the Rutgers blowout.

Just sticking around even this long was remarkable within the context of his class. In 2013 Brady Hoke brought in six offensive linemen rated 3 stars or above on the 247 composite, not counting the scholarship long-snapper. OT Chris Fox lost his career to a knee injury before he got to college and late offer OG Dan Samuelson retired from football before ever threatening a depth chart. OT Logan Tuley-Tillman was kicked off the team for some very bad behavior, tried and failed to transfer to Wazzu a year ago, and wound up at Akron, where he started 12 games at left tackle. The only significant contributor was OG Kyle Bosch, who transferred due to some personal issues when Harbaugh arrived, and wound up starting the last two years at West Virginia, earning all-Big XII this year. Kugler, the only one rated higher than Dawson, should have his chance to salvage the class of 2013 this spring.

With Kalis and Braden graduating, Bredeson expected to kick out to RT in place of Magnuson, and left tackle an open question thanks to Newsome’s injury, playing time on the offensive line was wide open for Dawson. Even a position switch to DT was an outside possibility given Michigan’s needs. If Dawson still didn’t like his chances to pass Onwenu and the other underclassmen, it’s probably best for for him that he use his grad year to go somewhere he can play. Meanwhile Michigan loses another bullet in a rather bare chamber for upperclassmen OL:

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Via that depth chart Michigan now has 61 scholarships committed to currently returning players (including Peppers) and 26 commits, putting them 2 over the 85 they need to be at by the start of next season. Expected attrition from here gets that class to about 30 with room for some walk-ons to earn scholarships.

Exit Scott Sypniewski

Exit Scott Sypniewski

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on December 27th, 2016 at 12:04 PM

Scott   Sypniewski31    Twitter

According to his Twitter bio, Michigan long snapper Scott Sypniewki won’t be returning to the program for his redshirt senior season in 2017. Sypniewski has been Michigan’s starting long snapper since 2014, appearing in 34 games over the past three seasons. Redshirt sophomore PWO Andrew Robinson appears to be next in line to take over as Michigan's starting long snapper.

Sypniewski’s departure leaves Michigan with 25 available scholarships. They have 26 recruits currently committed; with the usual expected (and unexpected) offseason attrition, the 32-man class we’ve heard rumblings about seems feasible from the perspective of available scholarships.

Unverified Voracity Is A Pretty Bear Indeed

Unverified Voracity Is A Pretty Bear Indeed

Submitted by Brian on December 8th, 2016 at 2:51 PM

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WOOP [Eric Upchurch]

Exit Shane Morris. Per Tom Van Haaren, Shane Morris will pursue a graduate transfer. CMU is the most likely destination.

Morris never lived up to the titanic hype that his arm strength generated when he was a high school junior. First, a bout of mono his senior year put him behind the development curve; second, Al Borges finished the job. An inexplicable start against Minnesota in 2014 resulted in a probable mild concussion, setting off a firestorm of controversy Dave Brandon's incompetence stoked until it resulted in both his and Brady Hoke's firing.

Morris will, but shouldn't be, remembered mostly for that. He was a Michigan kid through and through, to the point where he played slot receiver in the spring and was happily a lead blocker on sweeps. It didn't work out at M; here's hoping he goes Thomas Rawls at CMU.

We were already banking on Morris's departure in our recruiting calculations, so that won't affect the size of the class.

PFF's All Big Ten team. Michigan folks:

  • Offense: Amara Darboh ("highest-graded run blocker among Big Ten receivers ... 2.65 yards per route run average ranks second in the conference"), Khalid Hill, Erik Magnuson (2nd), Mason Cole (2nd).
  • Defense: Taco Charlton ("absolutely dominant force in Big Ten play"), Ryan Glasgow("posted four sacks and 14 total pressures to go with nine total defensive stops" in final four games), Maurice Hurst(2nd), Mike McCray("24 total pressures on just 77 reps"), Jourdan Lewis, Channing Stribling (2nd), Jabrill Peppers (as a slot corner), Delano Hill(2nd).

Peppers was obviously the punt returner; Jordan Glasgow was their All Big Ten special-teamer. Entertainingly, OSU punter Cameron Johnston was the ABT punter and was graded out at –13.8 before the Michigan game. PFF hates specialists, like any red-blooded American.

You'll notice a few omissions: Mackey winner Jake Butt, Chris Wormley, and Ben Gedeon. Wormley scored around +31(!), basically level with Charlton and Hurst and a hair behind Glasgow. He got left out because of Jake Replogle's existence and some guy named Steven Richardson from Minnesota. Butt got a bunch of pass blocking minuses(?!) and didn't have the same kind of receiving impact he did a year ago. (If we're being honest, he should have won the Mackey last year; getting it this year is a bit of a lifetime achievement award.) Gedeon was +12, so he was on the verge. There were a ton of good linebackers in the league. 

So you're saying there's a chance. Jabrill Peppers made an appearance on the Dan Patrick show ("THAT'S RIDICULOUS," exclaim Ohio State fans, "MALIK HOOKER SHOULD HAVE MADE AN APPEARANCE ON THE DAN PATRICK SHOW"), and on that show he denied that he'd made an NFL decision:

During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show, Patrick asked Peppers -- who is eligible for the NFL Draft this year -- why he would stay at Michigan?

His answer?

"To get a degree, to try to finish some unfinished things here, to keep getting better at my craft," Peppers said. "I don't know, man. I've got a tough decision to make."

I... no. I am not taking this seriously, but I appreciate Peppers making it sound like a hard choice. FWIW, Peppers also said he'd vote for Deshaun Watson for Heisman.

This is probably fine. Buried at the end of an Ole Miss press release about Hugh Freeze dumping his offensive coordinator:

No word about the "assistant athletic director for football operations," John Miller, who directed Tunsil to talk to Farrar about getting some more money.

I throw many shades at uniformz so only fair to acknowledge the flipside. These are gorgeous.

I miss playing Alaska-Fairbanks, for the 8-0 wins Friday and inexplicable 2-1 losses Saturday, and for the two free games Michigan got whenever they went up there. Also I cannot figure out how to buy this jersey.

Knives out for Butch Jones. 247's Travis Haney has a feature article featuring an absolute ton of people slamming Butch Jones as not up for it:

“You talk about the time and place to say something like that - and that is not what our fans wanted to hear,” one Tennessee administrative source told 247Sports, referring to the “champions of life” comment. “That will never go away. That soundbite will never go away.” ...

“It’s like he doesn’t think he should be there,” [another] source said. “It’s like he doesn’t think he belongs. And that permeates through the program. Everyone feels that.” ...

“The culture is a disaster,” said someone who works in the football building.

There are many more quotes from different people; even the supportive folk on the record are mostly talking about how Jones's accomplishments, such as they are, have not been fully appreciated. Add in Jalen Hurd's highly unusual midseason transfer and it looks grim for the future of the Jones regime. Regardless of the veracity of the claims in the article the number of people saying those things, even anonymously, for publication gives off a strong Rich Rodriguez vibe. He has problems of his own making, and now that he's down in a hole the rest of the program is digging for him.

This is of tangential interest to Michigan fans because of two things: Marcus Ray's bizarre insistence that Jones should have been the man instead of Harbaugh and Jones topping that hot take by hiring Michigan Olympic sports administrator Mike DeBord as his offensive coordinator. The parallels between Tennessee's breakdown of culture and discipline and those of the late Carr era are obvious.

More Butch Jones. Tennessee just got a commit from Trey Smith. Depending on who you listen to Smith is the top OL and possibly the top player in the country. Tennessee's sales pitch?

wut

As Get The Picture points out, their real sales pitch was "we will give your sister money to be executive assistant to the head coach." At least Michigan hires actual football coaches.

Also knives out for someone you may know. Also in bad-idea coordinator hires:

I confess that I thought hiring Brady Hoke might not have been the worst idea in the world—look at his track record with under-recruited Michigan DL. It turned out to be... unhelpful. At least. It's possible that he took over a unit so far away from competence that he was doomed either way; it is extremely unlikely anyone will take that chance. Tell you what, though, whoever hires him as a DL coach is not wrong.

The Counterfactual. The #1 alternate universe of the past ten years in college football: what if RichRod takes the Alabama job? Nick Saban goes... somewhere. Michigan hires... somebody. He probably still fails extensively. John Talty looks back at one of the most fascinating coaching searches in CFB history.

Etc.: Excellent scouting report on Will Lockwood, one of the bright spots on the hockey team. A major reason Willie Taggart got the Oregon job: Jim Harbaugh. Lane Kiffin still the frontrunner for the Houston job. Me, I'd just hire their DC. Assistant salaries skyrocket, they have the money to pay players, etc.

Exit Ahmir Mitchell

Exit Ahmir Mitchell

Submitted by Brian on August 24th, 2016 at 1:51 PM

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[Eric Upchurch]

That didn't last long:

Mitchell got in serious trouble over the summer that warranted what was probably going to be a year-long suspension. He was also apparently in the habit of posting images of him partying at various late-night hours on Snapchat. By all reports he was not a good fit for the program.

Privately we were expecting this, and I tried to gesture that direction in his recruiting profile:

General Excitement Level: Moderate-minus. Washout potential is high. Pure athlete at the moment.

And lo, it has come to pass. Dude could have sped it up a bit so that I didn't have to write that profile.

Even though he was nominally a receiver, Mitchell's departure is mostly a hit to the safety depth chart. Michigan really likes the McDoom/Crawford/Johnson trio and with Brad Hawkins an academic casualty both WR recruits who could play S have burned out before they could even get started.

That brings Michigan to 23 scholarships in a class we expect to reach 30.

Exit Andrew David

Exit Andrew David

Submitted by Brian on August 22nd, 2016 at 3:46 PM

Per Jon Runyan's instagram:

That's Andrew David in the picture. David came in as a scholarship kicker but wasn't in the conversation last year despite the open job and was then recruited over when Michigan brought in Quinn Nordin, the #1 K in the country to three of the four services. He was used as a pooch punter this spring; apparently that didn't take.

With Kenny Allen likely to have both specialist jobs this year and Nordin set to take over at one or both in 2017, David's departure shouldn't impact Michigan much on the field. They might look for a scholarship punter now, but with so many high-end guys on the hook and no obvious candidates they could pass.

David's departure brings the 2017 class up to 22 scholarships right now, with 30 or so signees likely.

Exit Freddy Canteen, Brady Pallante

Exit Freddy Canteen, Brady Pallante

Submitted by Brian on August 7th, 2016 at 10:57 AM

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We don't have a good Pallante shot, unfortunately [Eric Upchurch]

The phonebooks are here!

We'll have our usual phonebook overreaction soon. This post is about a couple of absences:

Canteen's status was known to be in question after offseason surgery; this would appear to resolve that. No word yet on whether that's a transfer or a retirement. He kept bouncing between WR and corner throughout his career, never getting established at either spot. He wasn't expected to contribute this year, although the surgery probably had something to do with that.

Pallante is a bit of a a surprise since he saw scattered snaps towards the end of the year and Michigan is already two under their scholarship limit. While he didn't look like a guy who was going to play much going forward you'd think the program would keep him around for this year at least; looks like Pallante could read the enormous four- and five-star ratings on the wall.

Both Canteen and Pallante were slated to take up slots on the 2017 roster and will no longer. Michigan now has 21 slots in the 2017 class and is recruiting for around 30; it's not too hard to look at the roster and find another four spots from would-be fifth year seniors and early NFL Draft entry.

Exit Kam Chatman

Exit Kam Chatman

Submitted by Ace on May 3rd, 2016 at 2:59 PM

According to a report from ESPN's Jeff Goodman, junior forward Kam Chatman is expected to transfer out of the program.

Chatman was ranked as a top-30 prospect coming out of high school, but other than that one moment of glory against Indiana, he never made the expected impact.

That doesn't mean Chatman's departure won't hurt, though. Michigan now has two open scholarship spots for 2016-17 and no obvious candidates among either grad transfers or late-rising 2016 recruits to fill them. Barring a late addition, this puts a lot of pressure on DJ Wilson to become a viable backup at the four, where Zak Irvin is once again going to have to log the vast majority of his minutes.

UPDATE: Multiple outlets have confirmed Chatman has been granted his release and will transfer.

UPDATE 2: It's officially official.

"Kam is a wonderful young man with the potential to mature into a fine college player," said Beilein. "We have enjoyed coaching him over the past two years and wish him nothing but the best."

"I honestly don't think I could have had a more quality life experience than I did in Ann Arbor," said Chatman. "I am incredibly grateful for my two years at Michigan. I would like to thank Coach Beilein and his entire staff for taking a chance on a small town kid out of Portland. I know my experience has inspired others as I will take all of my lessons learned to continue my pursuit of becoming the best man and player I can. Go Blue!"