Bielfeldt Released, Michigan Still Has A Spot

Bielfeldt Released, Michigan Still Has A Spot

Submitted by Brian on April 21st, 2015 at 2:21 PM


[Bryan Fuller]

Max Bielfeldt was re-listed as a senior a couple years back and walked on senior day, so his departure was expected. It's now official, per Jeff Goodman. Bielfeldt himself:

"With (LeVert) taking that scholarship, any little option of something else happening -- me coming back -- got a little bit smaller," Bielfeldt said. "The odds aren't very high that I come back here next year."

As a grad transfer Bielfeldt can be immediately eligible next year; Bradley, near his home, has been mentioned as a possibility. Dan Dakich will still talk about his calves during Michigan games for nostalgia's sake.

Meanwhile, despite Caris's decision to stay Michigan is still under the impression they have room for another player next year.

U-M coaches have made it clear that even with LeVert's return, the roster will have room for at least one addition.

Following Tuesday's announcement by LeVert, Troy Manns, [Kenny] Williams' coach at LC Bird High School coach in Richmond, told MLive that LeVert's return does not impact Williams' interest in Michigan.

"No, not at all," he said.

Asked if Michigan told Williams it still would have space for him if LeVert remaining a Wolverine, Manns answered, simply, "Yes."

With seemingly everyone else content to fight out the playing time crunch next year that would likely be Austin Hatch either going on medical hardship or, if his family is so inclined, becoming a walk-on next year. That would cost money but would keep the door open to Hatch getting on the court some.

Dear Diary Would Take Russell

Dear Diary Would Take Russell

Submitted by Seth on April 10th, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Via WD, every snap of Jake Rudock vs. Michigan. It is quite unimpressive, though I remind you it was debilitatingly cold and windy for the 2013 Crimes Against Manpanda Redux game, and he was a sophomore. There were three long plays in there. The first Kevonte Martin-Manley was WIIIIIDE open and Rudock's pass floated in (against the wind) slowly and inaccurately so KMM had to step immediately out of bounds. The second his receiver made a great play while double covered. The third was the one Avery and C.Gordon botched extraordinarily. The last throw on there was his best.

UPDATE: There's also an every pass vs Wisconsin.

To answer the guy in the thread, yes that is the game that inspired our most depressing shirt ever. My original shirt idea in the discussion that became that shirt was "Fuck it man, let's go bowling".

Transfers are Only Rare in Peace Time. As I partially experienced when they tried to tell me regular courses at La Sorbonne weren't French enough to count as foreign language*, transferring credits to Michigan is a bitch.

Transfer to Michigan for Victory! We're for winning the war too!

Local community colleges like WCC or OCC have transferred often enough that they've smoothed this over, but random Division I schools are at best a crap shoot, and JCs for guys Saban couldn't get through Alabama admissions are right out.

For that reason more than its coaches' tastes (Rodriguez and Hoke both recruited plenty of JuCos before coming here), Michigan has taken extraordinarily few transfers over the years.

With five (Isaac, Lyons, O'Korn, Rudock, O'Neill) projected to be at Michigan this fall, Wolverine Devotee tracked down every transfer he could.

The short transfer list underscores the difficulty with admissions. In the last 30 years the only Michigan transfers not from like academic institutions (Stanford, USC, Georgia Tech, SDSU and Notre Dame), were freshmen from decent Ohio schools (Goodwin and Nienberg), one guy who was at Michigan previously (Evans), one guy from a local academic CC that sends a lot of students to Ann Arbor, and Russell Shaw, who is the lone exception to every conversation ever had about Michigan JCs and transfers.

It also has a bulge in the mid-1940s, when Michigan went all-in on active duty programs. Most notably the university created an intensive Japanese language school that took over East Quad, and was the wartime home of the national JAG program, which we housed in the Law Quad. Michigan gamely used these and the regular training school to siphon talent away from rivals in every sport. That's how we got Crazy Legs Hirsch out of Wisconsin, and Howard Yerges and J.T. White from Ohio State. Iowa Pre-Flight became a quasi-Big Ten team in the era by convincing stars from the region to enlist in the Air Corps.

Via the board there might be two more grad transfers en route before fall. Why is Michigan taking so many guys now (other than new coaches in non-Michigan places always bring in guys they recruited elsewhere to fill gaps?) Well one is grad transfers are a relatively recent phenomenon and are more like a normal admissions process for those schools.

For the rest, my best guess is during The Happening, Michigan had asked Harbaugh what ducks they need to be in what order, and one of his requests was admissions won't jerk him around. This happened at Stanford; in fact the school refusing to accept January enrollments cost him both RGIII and 2015 Heisman candidate Taysom Hill. This is just a wild theory, but "You could eff up our shot at Harbaugh" is probably one of the only football arguments you could ever make to admissions that they'd care about.

There is at least one transfer whom WD missed: 1997 co-captain Eric Mayes, who went to Xavier then transferred to Michigan and walked on, according to a certain co-worker of mine who's probably not ecstatic about me just pointing you to his old blogspot.

* (We acknowledge you read Voltaire in the original, but you weren't doing it to learn French!)

[Jump for Cazzie and a surprising stop in Brady Hoke's Offensive Vision Quest]

NCAA To End Transfer Waivers

NCAA To End Transfer Waivers

Submitted by Brian on March 18th, 2015 at 11:57 AM


Isaac tried to avoid the no-pads thing last year without success. Future Isaacs won't wonder about immediate eligibility, because the answer will be "nope." [Bryan Fuller]

I must be the only person on earth paying attention to @umichcompliance. This is normally evidence that the rest of you are sane and hearty individuals, but yesterday they posted what looks like relatively big news nobody else has mentioned yet:

You may remember transfer waivers being a big thing during the Ty Isaac transfer saga. It was thought that Michigan might lose out on him since they were not within the 200-mile radius of Isaac's house the NCAA required for a hardship transfer. He decided on Michigan anyway, applied for his waiver, and was denied.

Why make the change? In recent years more and more players had been trying to get transfer waivers for increasingly dubious reasons. It was getting ridiculous, and threatened to create more of an open market for transfers than there was before. (You may think that's a good idea; the NCAA does not.)

Instead the NCAA will offer a one-year extension of the five year clock* in circumstances that warrant it. IE: if you've already redshirted you can make a hardship transfer without losing a year of competition. This wouldn't have affected Isaac but would remove a barrier to other athletes without the incentive of immediate eligibility.

Jimmystats: The Fate of Early Enrollees

Jimmystats: The Fate of Early Enrollees

Submitted by Seth on February 17th, 2015 at 1:15 PM

Brian buzzed me last week with a recruiting question on early enrollees:

1) Are EEs less likely to redshirt?

2) Are EEs more likely to start as freshmen? Underclassmen?

3) Are EEs more likely to be all-conference? Drafted?

4) Are EEs more likely to stick around as 4th and/or 5th year Seniors?

I hear a lot about the benefits of being an EE; you get on campus early, you get to start working out with the team trainers and players, start taking classes, etc. I think Clemson has something crazy like 12 EEs this year and I can't imagine that hurts their team development. I'm just curious if it actually gives any empirical advantage to those who do so.

Thanks and Go Blue!

Steven Z

I don't have national data, but I've got the early enrollees in my giant spreadsheet (see "EE" column). I'm pretty sure of things since 2008, but before that I had to rely on Michigan's press releases from signing days and spring games.

The list:

2015: Malzone, Cole
2014: Speight, Canteen, Harris, Cole, Mone, Ferns, Watson
2013: Douglas, Butt, Bosch, LTT, Taco, Dymonte
2012: Ringer, Bolden, Wilson
2011: Greg Brown
2010: Gardner, White, Hopkins, J.Rob, J.Jackson, Ricardo, Pace
2009: Forcier, V.Smith, Campbell, LaLota, M.Jones, Hawthorne, Vlad
2008: Stonum
2007: Mallett, Helmuth, Chambers
2006: C.Brown, Boren
2005: Kevin Grady

Just from reading that list you'll notice transition years have relatively few of them; a healthy Michigan probably has six or seven guys enrolling in January each year. You'll also note a lot of guys who left for one reason or another.

1) Are EEs less likely to redshirt?

Yes. 32% of EEs redshirted as freshmen versus 65% of those who enrolled in fall (those who never enrolled not counted). They obviously came to play.

2) Are EEs more likely to play early? Yes, but they're less likely to play overall. Here's the average number of starts per their season in the program for players who would be eligible*. Notice the difference?


* "Would be eligible" means I've removed redshirt (including medical), and transfer years, and 5th years of guys who never redshirted. Those lost to attrition otherwise are counted.

That is wow. It is extremely weird for there to be as many starts for true freshmen as for third- or fourth-year players. This shows that early enrollees are more likely to play as freshmen, but were progressively less likely to be starters each season thereafter.

You also can see the average start numbers per eligible player are rather low.

It's more accurate to say you find out what they are much earlier. Notably, NONE of the early enrollees to earn starts at Michigan redshirted initially (the 11 starts by a 5th year are all Gardner's).

It's also worth nothing that it wasn't the same guys contributing to those columns. Your true freshman EEs with more than 3 starts were Mason Cole (12), Jake Butt (8), Tate Forcier (12), and Darryl Stonum (10). Those guys—for reasons of injury, Denard, or temporal existence—contributed just 8 starts to the sophomore column, which is filled instead by Boren, Vincent Smith, and Jarrod Wilson.

3) Are EEs more likely to be all-conference? Drafted?

That seems to be much more relative to their talent, but we'd need national data to make that assumption. One day I'll add NFL draft information to the big spreadsheet; maybe we'll discover something then.

4) Are EEs more likely to stick around as 4th and/or 5th year Seniors?

As you probably guessed from the above chart, they are way LESS likely, and from the data it appears that's mostly because they're flight risks. Even if you figure all of the current players make it to graduation, early enrollees at Michigan have an average of 1.92 (!) lost seasons of eligibility out of the four they get, compared to 0.82 for fall entries.

This remains true even if you remove all the guys currently on the team. Here's a breakdown of the % of former players (from 1993 class to 2014) who stuck around X amount of years by when they enrolled:

Seasons at M—> 5 4 3 2 1 DNQ
Fall enrollees 39% 30% 10% 10% 7% 4%
Early enrollees 4% 29% 17% 17% 33% n/a

That is stark. A good third of early enrollees left the program after just a year, and the hits kept on coming. When you total up all the eligible seasons of enrollees lost to various types of attrition, the EEs were particularly likely to be giving those seasons to other schools:

% of Season Lost To: Fall Early
Transfers 44% 72%
Medical 20% 9%
Dismissed/Behavioral 14% 15%
Gave up football 10% 2%
Unrenewed 5th 8% 2%
Early NFL 4% 0%

Of the 37 early enrollees, six played out their eligibility and 13 are currently on the team. Three losses were natural attrition (Mike Jones was an unrenewed 5th, Hopkins gave up football, and Pace was a medical loss), and three were dismissals (Forcier, Stonum, and Austin White). That leaves 12 transfers: Boren, Mallett, Helmuth, Chambers, Emilien, LaLota, Ricardo, J-Rob, G.Brown, Ringer, Bosch, and Ferns.

Only the first two of those transfers wound up helping Power Five programs, though Bosch and Ferns still have the opportunity to do so. Mallett and Boren would have been guaranteed starters on the 2008-forward teams. The rest seem to be guys who were buried on the depth chart and realized it early.

What have we learned?

An early enrollee is more likely to care extremely about early playing time. They chose Michigan in part for an immediate opportunity to start, thus raising the likelihood of early playing time. However they are way more volatile in attrition.

Your expectations of an early enrollee from Michigan's smallish sample is that you'll find out right away if he's going to be either a long-term starter or a non-major contributor. A lot of these guys come to compete for an open spot, and either win it or move on.

Keith Heitzman Also Transferring

Keith Heitzman Also Transferring

Submitted by Brian on January 30th, 2015 at 2:06 PM


[Eric Upchurch]

Also via his instagram. Like Bellomy and Hayes, Heitzman has a degree and fifth year to play elsewhere. He moved to tight end last year in an effort to get some blocking at that position but didn't play much; with the rest of the TE corps returning plus one or two recruits and Bunting coming off a redshirt he didn't figure to get more playing time this year.

Current scholarship count remains fuzzy since there are a number of walk-ons who may or may not have earned a full-time gig. Our current assumption is that both Glasgows are on scholarship but Joe Kerridge and Kenny Allen are first-in-line types who aren't figuring in Michigan's recruiting plans. If that's the case, Michigan currently stands at 15 slots.

Russell Bellomy Transferring

Russell Bellomy Transferring

Submitted by Brian on January 30th, 2015 at 12:41 PM


[Eric Upchurch]

Via Bellomy's instagram:

I will receive my degree at the end of this semester and have decided to sign my release that enables me to play my 5th year as a graduate student at another university.

Bellomy was well down the depth chart at QB.

His departure brings Michigan to 14 scholarships for the incoming class plus any additional attrition; this is the bit where I remind you that Brady Hoke said he expected a couple of OL to not return and project that Michigan will sign 16 or 17 players in this class.

Justice Hayes Taking A Grad Transfer

Justice Hayes Taking A Grad Transfer

Submitted by Brian on January 26th, 2015 at 1:04 PM


[Eric Upchurch]

Senior-to-be tailback Justice Hayes is seeking greener pastures:

The four years I have spent at this institution have brought some great memories that I will cherish forever. The fact that I will be graduating from the University of Michigan in April will be meritorious. I have earned team captain on numerous occasions, won respect from coaches and players, and most importantly played my heart out every Saturday. I truly appreciate the offer from Coach Harbaugh to allow me to return for my 5th year, but I have decided that I will choose another college to play football as a graduate student.

Hayes was a touted recruit who stuck with Michigan after Rich Rodriguez's departure despite being regarded as a spread back in the mold of a Theo Riddick. He was subsequently buried on the depth chart as the Hoke staff systematically ignored any tailback smaller than a moose.

Hayes never really got an opportunity despite the thoroughly mediocre performances of Michigan's tailbacks over the past couple years and probably doesn't see much more opportunity now what with Harbaugh's desire to manball all the live long day. It'll be interesting to see if he blows up in a fashion similar to Mike Cox and Thomas Rawls (when eligible) in a place that is not the purgatory of Brady Hoke offenses.

Michigan has three juniors-to-be (De'Veon Smith, Derrick Green, and Drake Johnson) on the roster plus USC transfer Ty Isaac, so they'll probably be fine this year. This shouldn't change recruiting approaches.

It does open up another slot. Michigan now has 13 or 14 depending on the status of Joe Kerridge—I have to assume both Glasgows are on scholarship now—and seems to be recruiting for 16, maybe 17 spots*. Hoke mentioned a few pending departures before his own exit, so I would expect Michigan to announce three or four more departures that are already known to them in the near future.

*[They have 9 and appear to be looking for two DEs, two CBs, and two TE/FB types plus a wildcard or two extra.]

Jimmystats: Starts by Class and Stars

Jimmystats: Starts by Class and Stars

Submitted by Seth on January 7th, 2015 at 9:28 AM

Meta: Hokepoints is now alternating bi-weekly features. Jimmystats is the one where we play with Excel, H4 is the one where we play with Playmaker or get misty-eyed. Thank you readers who submitted name ideas.


Not all upperclassmen are good, but having upperclassmen is good. [Fuller]

I keep a few different databases on Michigan players for various uses, and Bosch's transfer initiated a two-day time sink into updating the big roster one. It now includes number of starts each guy since the 1993 class had in his career, along with the recruiting profile and career summary. Have at it, diarists:

Some stuff I generated with it:

The Holy Balls 2010 attrition chart:

Retention rate

Bigging it makes it clicker.

The retention rate isn't the number of players who stuck, it's the number of total eligible seasons the class would have produced if every freshman played four (and every junior transfer played two, etc.). If somebody ever says there was nothing good about the Hoke era, point at the 2012-2014 classes. I do expect the transition costs and other levies of time will reduce those triple towers eventually, but that is a very good start, especially the 2012 group who came in after 11-2 and got not that since.

The flipside of course is that 2010 class, which spent exactly half of its eligibility not on Michigan's roster. And that was followed by the 2011 "process" class, which more on that in a minute. I also tracked the reasons for losses:

[Jump for that a bunch more charts and tables you can use to wow your friends, like the average number of starts for a 5-star recruit]

Kyle Bosch To Transfer

Kyle Bosch To Transfer

Submitted by Brian on January 5th, 2015 at 8:29 PM


Bosch on the right with Mason Cole and Jack Miller.

247's Steve Wiltfong is reporting that Michigan OL Kyle Bosch is set to transfer.

Bosch started on and off as a true freshman as Michigan struggled to put their 2013 line together, then competed for a starting job last spring. He dropped off the radar in favor of a lineup with Jack Miller at center and Graham Glasgow and Erik Magnuson at guard, played one snap in the opener, and then went on a medical/personal/mental health leave for the remainder of the season.

He's back on campus now but is apparently going to light out for greener pastures with Michigan returning its entire starting five and Magnuson. Michigan still has two redshirt sophomore guards in David Dawson and Dan Samuelson, so Bosch's departure doesn't create any alarming gaps in the OL progression. It does increase the urgency for Michigan to find two or three capable prospects before signing day.

Exit Michael Ferns

Exit Michael Ferns

Submitted by Ace on December 16th, 2014 at 11:58 AM

After a couple players tweeted the news, 247's Steve Lorenz confirmed that freshman linebacker Michael Ferns will transfer to West Virginia. Ferns, a 2014 four-star recruit from St. Clairsville, Ohio—very close to the West Virginia border—redshirted last season after enrolling early.

While Michigan loses a once-promising recruit, this is a transfer that shouldn't have a huge short- or long-term impact. Desmond Morgan, Joe Bolden, Ben Gedeon, and Mike McCray projected to fill the two-deep at inside linebacker in 2015, while Ferns's 2014 classmates Noah Furbush, Chase Winovich, and Jared Wangler provide options for the future. Michigan also returns James Ross, Royce Jenkins-Stone, and Allen Gant; as position groups go, linebacker is one of the deepest on the roster.

Ferns is the first member of the 16-man class of 2014 to depart the program.