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.
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.
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
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.
Ja’Raymond Hall, a 6-foot-5, 282-pound freshman offensive tackle, has transferred to Central Michigan from Michigan.
I guess bowl practices didn't improve Hall's opinion of his future at Michigan; FWIW, I'd heard from a good source that once he started on Michigan's S&C program he dropped a lot of weight and wondered if he'd ever get up to a sufficient level to challenge guys like Onwenu or Filiaga. The landing spot is usually indicative of why the player transferred: Kentucky? Maybe got in some hot water. MAC school? Just wants to play.
Hall's exit reduces the number of tackle bullets Michigan has available for the bar-none most critical spot on next year's team. It also opens up another slot for the 2018 class. Michigan's recruiting towards 22 or 23 spots, it looks like.
After classmate Drake Harris, Ways was the most highly regarded among the great leaping receivers that Borges recruited to Michigan. Moe was also the most productive, gathering eight receptions for 71 yards spread across the 2015-2017 seasons, and occasionally poking his head into the normal receiver rotation. Ways never materialized into the Junior Hemingway-esque downfield threat it was hoped he would be. Once the freshmen were passing him last year it appeared the writing was on the wall, and when the 2017 crop also did so it was an all but foregone conclusion that Ways was unlikely to find playing time at Michigan. He leaves with a Michigan degree and an opportunity to play right away at his choice of school.
Michigan remains stocked with outside targets, all of whom will be in their second or third seasons in 2018: Kekoa Crawford, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black, Oliver Martin, Nico Collins, and Nate Schoenle, not to mention the slots and tight ends.
If it seems strange to you that we keep announcing graduate transfers, it’s only because it wasn’t usual before players had a social media presence to make these things public before spring rosters came out.
Sam Webb reports that freshman OL JaRaymond Hall is exiting the program. Hall enrolled early and then redshirted, and while he was one of the lower-ranked guys in the class he was another bullet in the chamber at a tackle position that needs as many as it can get.
OTOH, Webb reports that Hall might land at Iowa State or Arizona, so maybe this is a situation where the guy already feels he's behind a large number of classmates. Michigan brought in Chuck Filiaga, Andrew Stueber, and Joel Honigford last year and then moved James Hudson to tackle in fall camp. If Hall was fifth in that pecking order, with little near-term path to the field on the interior, that might be enough to bail this early.
FWIW, this brings Michigan to 15 open spots for this year's class, with 6-7 potential fifth year players who are either not projected contributors or borderline. Two to four of those guys probably won't be back. Also, Mike Spath reported a couple days ago that Alex Malzone would graduate in 3.5 years and seek a two-year gig elsewhere. A class from 20 to 22 seems likely. Michigan has 16 commits currently.
A post shared by Drake Harris (@drizzygetbusy12) on
Harris enrolled in January 2014 with a trainload of hype trailing him; he ended up a top-100 prospect on the 247 composite and the seventh-ranked receiver in nation. He initially committed to Michigan State to play both football and basketball, but decommitted after deciding to focus solely on football, and his stock exploded from there.
Hamstring injuries hampered his career from the start and cropped up over and over again. He eventually switched from receiver to corner before this past fall camp. By September, there were rumors that he was leaving the football team to play basketball for John Beilein. In the end, injuries forced him back to receiver, and he caught his first and only pass of the season against Ohio State in what turned out to be his last game in a Michigan uniform.
Per our depth chart by class, this would put Michigan at 87 scholarships (including the 2018 16-man class). With more attrition likely to come, Michigan should be able to add a few more members to their recruiting class before signing day.
A post shared by Wilton Speight (@wiltonspeight_3) on
Speight went from afterthought to quarterbacking the best Michigan team in a decade, toughing out a shoulder injury that couldn’t have been healed in time for Ohio State last year. His 2016 performance against Maryland stands as the best half by a quarterback in program history. Since Michigan fans live all over the country, once his eligibility expires I imagine Wilton will have a hard time ever buying a beer for himself again. We’ll be rooting for him wherever he goes.
Michigan also graduates John O’Korn but returns Brandon Peters and will have redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey plus two freshmen, and may look to add one more in the transfer market.
We've heard Michigan redshirt junior wide receiver Drake Harris will be pursuing basketball now ... yes, at Michigan. Head coach John Beilein will take him in a heartbeat if the football coaches approve (we've heard Harris met with the coach yesterday), and we believe they will (and probably already have).
As a recruit at Grand Rapids Christian, Harris initially committed to Michigan State as a two-sport athlete. Basketball, in fact, was his primary focus until his spectacular junior football season, and the recruiting services regarded him as a composite top-100 basketball recruit before he chose the gridiron—at one point Rivals had him ranked as high as #46 overall in the 2014 class. He earned first-team all-state honors on the hardwood as both a sophomore and junior; he didn't play his senior season because he enrolled early at Michigan. ESPN liked his potential when the evaluated him as a junior despite being the low outlier among his basketball rankings:
Drake is smooth scoring wing who is a solid shooter out to 20 feet. He can score from all over the floor: long range, mid-range and he can get to the rim. He has real good size for a 2 guard at his age. Pretty good defender.
Drake needs more consistency with his effort. He can disappear at times.
Drake is a real up and coming talent in the 2014 class. Drake is a solid athlete and has plenty of upside. When he is assertive he is one of he better scorers in the class. It'll be interesting to see how he progresses.
He certainly asserted himself for most of his junior season, averaged 24.2 points per game and leading Grand Rapids Christian to the Class A state semifinals, where he went out with a bang.
Harris would have two seasons of eligibility remaining on the hardwood; since he began the year with the football program, his scholarship would still count against football for this year, though basketball has an open slot anyway.
While it's obviously difficult to project how a player will fare in a sport he hasn't played competitively for four years, Harris may be able to provide some depth at guard. At 6'4", 188, he's got good size, and we know he doesn't lack athleticism. In addition to providing scoring punch, he was a good passer in high school, to the point that his coach wanted him to be more selfish:
The strength of Harris' game is his ability to attack the basket off the dribble and score or find teammates for high-percentage shots.
"Defenders can't stay in front of him," Majerle said. "That is what gives him so much potential as a point guard. He has good ball skills and he is a great athlete. I also think that he has a great natural feel for the game which is what you want to see from a point guard. He is a good teammate and an unselfish basketball player. Sometimes he is unselfish to a fault."
While he wasn't known as a shooter, he could pour it on at times, and his form looks decent (albeit a bit slow on the release) on film; he also displays good court vision and some flashy passing ability.
Whether Harris plays both sports or moves full-time to baskeball, this shouldn't have a major impact on the football team. He only had eight career receptions before moving this fall to cornerback, where he hasn't seen significant playing time. He'll have to shake off some rust on the hardwood, but at the very least he's an interesting athlete to have at the end of the bench.
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.