Per Steve Lorenz, O'Maury Samuels has been booted:
— Steve Lorenz (@TremendousUM) December 12, 2018
Samuels got scattered carries as a backup the past couple years as Michigan had crowded backfields. Karan Higdon's departure was going to open the door for a third player to join presumed platoon members Chris Evans and Tru Wilson; Samuels's departure removes an option.
Christian Turner, Zach Charbonnet, and maybe Hassan Haskins (who played some linebacker) or Michael Barrett (who's practiced at both viper and slot receiver but was a hell of a running QB in high school) will now vie for those snaps. Turner looked slippery and tough to bring down in some cameo snaps this year; Charbonnet is flying up recruiting lists and might end up a five-star.
A third transfer, this one more understandable:
ANN ARBOR -- The Michigan football team will be down one running back for the remainder of the season.
Reserve back Kurt Taylor recently decided to leave the program and pursue a transfer, team spokesman Dave Ablauf confirmed to MLive on Tuesday.
Taylor had fallen behind at least Christian Turner in the class after him—never a good sign—and seen Tru Wilson suck up all the designated pass blocker snaps. That latter was Taylor's most promising path to the field and Wilson would have likely blocked him for another two years.
Taylor's departure leaves Michigan with 19 currently open slots in their 2019 recruiting class, a number certain to grow by a significant number. Near as I can figure there are ~8 players likely to head for the NFL draft early or graduate and be offered a firm handshake. That would put Michigan at 27, and there will probably be another few playing time transfers and/or injury retirements. Michigan could accommodate a class of 28-30; they've got 24 commits right now.
Well, this makes no sense:
247Sports was able to confirm on Monday evening that second-year offensive lineman James Hudson asked for and was granted his release from the program. Michigan spokesman Dave Ablauf confirmed the report, stemming from a Facebook post written by Hudson's mother on Monday evening.
Hudson is not apparently in any trouble and had been heavily hyped as a major talent at tackle. Until about two seconds ago he was regarded as the favorite to replace Juwann Bushell-Beatty next year. So this is a bizarre one.
Andrew Stueber and Jalen Mayfield now step into the on-deck circle at tackle. This probably won't be a problem—hail Warinner—but losing a talented redshirt freshman at a spot where you want to have all the lottery tickets you can gather is a blow.
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.