Brandon Smith Likely To Transfer

Submitted by Brian on December 6th, 2009 at 1:51 PM

brandon-smith-vs-illinois This has been the hot rumor the past couple days and TomVH has confirmed that redshirt freshman safety/LB Brandon Smith has received transfer papers and is looking to move on. Hurray.

Smith was a top-100 "athlete" in the hybrid Rodriguez/Carr class who technically committed after the transition had been announced but, like JT Floyd, was a Carr recruit all the way who was just stringing out his commitment for reasons unknown. So this could be a "Carr guy" moving on to a place he'd rather be. In any case it's the departure of one of the most highly rated players in a class entering its third year at a position, be it linebacker or safety, of desperate need.

Smith didn't seem to be working out, as he was too big and slow for safety and spent his game as a  quasi—linebacker starter on skates, but there's zero upside here. He could have put on 20-30 pounds easily—his "frame" was a reason he was rated so highly—and eventually turned into a contributor at linebacker. At the very least he would have been a relatively veteran body on a defense that needs every last potential contributor. BONUS: Michigan can't even add anyone to replace him because of a mysterious but apparently real oversigning change that prevents Big Ten teams from backdating players who enroll early*. DOUBLE BONUS: Before the season I took a look at Michigan's APR and concluded that sanctions resulting from transfers were unlikely, but the attrition has continued at a pace that makes me nervous.

*(Which will definitely help the struggling conference compete nationally.)

Comments

STW P. Brabbs

December 7th, 2009 at 7:24 AM ^

Give it a fucking rest. I'm so goddamn tired of hearing about how this was the worst thing to ever happen to a football team. You know what other program lost to a I-AA team a couple years ago? Alabama. And they didn't finish that season with a bowl win over Florida.

You're focusing on Appalachian State, when the real signs of a program in trouble and perhaps in a tailspin are all around you. 8-16 in two years? That's a sign of a program in decline. Recruiting classes that, in terms of rankings, look more like Bret Bielema's than Lloyd Carr's? That's a sign of a program in trouble. The rate of attrition that is still, apparently, continuing into Rodriguez's third year - which can only be another albatross on the recruiting trail? Trouble.

Appy State stung like hell at the time BECAUSE we had become accustomed to such a sustained level of success. Now there are fans on the board saying "let's be positive - with some lucky breaks we can recreate what Stoops has going on over at Arizona." Let's put The Horror into perspective - what we have right now is much, much worse.

ijohnb

December 7th, 2009 at 8:29 AM ^

that needs the rest more than the App. State loss, and Alabama was not returning at least two pre-season all-americans on offense and countless all big ten performers when they lost to a conference sub-division opponent, they were rebuilding their program. M lost to App. State in its climax, pinnacle year. The difference is noteworthy.

STW P. Brabbs

December 7th, 2009 at 8:56 AM ^

Look, I'm not saying I wasn't infuriated at the time, or that I'm completely okay with losing at home to ASU. The year was certainly still a massive disappointment.

But it was nice to have those massive expectations, no? It was nice to have preseason all-Americans. It was nice that the earth-shattering mess of a season in 2007 ended up with a 9-4 record.

I agree that Lloyd had lost his fastball by the time he left, and I know that Rodriguez had a lot of work in front of him (both related to a change in scheme and to some less than stellar recruiting) when he got here. But what has happened to Michigan football in the past two years is far, far worse than anything that had transpired for a long piece of the program's history.

Put it this way: when Rodriguez was hired, everyone thought that all we needed was a shot in the arm. Now this has become a complete reconstruction of the team, and there is only moderate and contestable evidence that said rebuilding is on a sustainably positive track.

Appalachian State was a sign that we were farther from competing for national championships than we had thought. 5-7 is a sign that we are farther from the top three in the Big Ten than we had thought, and I'm worried that recruiting is going to enter a negative spiral that keeps Rodriguez at arm's length from success. We all (myself included) thought it was obvious that Rodriguez's system + Michigan tradition/facilities/brand (i.e., recruting power) = WVU on steroids. I'm beginning to wonder whether that equation is so simple after all.

EDIT: Also, I have no idea what a "climax, pinnacle year" is.

kman23

December 7th, 2009 at 4:48 AM ^

If your content with 9-3 seasons then yes all we needed was a tweak. However, I want National Championships. I want perfect seasons. No longer will Lloyd Carr offenses get Michigan to be anything above average. Look at the best teams this year, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC (off year). All of them have a spread offense similar to RRod's and in the case of Florida, Oklahoma and Oregon offenses that are ripped off of RRod's from his past coaching jobs.

With that said I think RRod had no intention of blowing up this team. He came here and all the talent on offense either graduated (Jake Long, Chad Henne, and Mike Hart) or transferred (Ryan Mallet) or left a year early (Mario Manningham and Adrian Arrington). When you lose your All-American tackle, your 4 year starting qb, and your 4 year starting RB your will suck the next year. Add in the fact that Michigan lost their only good QB recruit and their #1 and #2 WR what was RRod supposed to do. Mathews has proven he's nothing special. Minor and Brown had like 25 combined carries. The O-line was a mess with Shilling and Boren being the only returners. How could RRod have kept the same offense and why should he when the only QB's returning include a walk on who is under 6 feet, a 6'6 giant who moves like Navarre but has no power, and a transfer who has an arm but nothing between his ears.

Look, there have been mistakes under RRod. He tried to recruit Pryor and lost Mallet due to it. RRod hired Shafer and then hired Robinson. RRod failed to memorize every Michigan tradition (like the #1 jersey) and RRod came to Michigan with WV trying to destroy him. By no means is he perfect.

But he came to Michigan when Michigan had a shitty team, that was too slow, and built for the old Big 10. College football is changing and finally the Big 10 is realizing it. There are 2 teams in the Big 10 that haven't updated their offenses and they are Iowa and Wisconsin. Both have shitty ass offenses with little talent in the skill positions. Iowa had a good record this year solely based on their defense. But RRod didn't have the luxury to sit on a defense. Carr recruited one solid DB his final two years. He recruited zero top tier LB. He had 1 5 star defensive player in Brandon Graham. This team should have had a senior in the secondary this year. Instead, Mouton and Brown had to be moved because they have zero speed. Name one player on this team minus Graham and Warren who were top tier recruits who have become something at their recruited position.

Lloyd Carr's style of offense would have slowly suffocated Michigan. We could have had 10 years of his style of playing slowly getting worse or we could have two bad years to quickly update our style of play.

By the way... no coach changes a team around in a year or two unless it is already loaded with the right type of talent. you bitching about a 3 year free pass shows you know nothing, absolutely nothing, about football. You have 44 players (2 deep) you need to recruit and build for your system. That means it's 2 years minimum for recruiting and 1 more year since freshman rarely contribute besides on special teams. Expecting any coach to come in and be successful from day 1 in naive. It's sort of like expecting New Orleans to be rebuilt in a couple of years. Too much to do with out much time.

ijohnb

December 7th, 2009 at 8:12 AM ^

run mostly pro-set offenses, as do the first two coaches that Michigan went after, Miles and Schiano. My belief is that Martin and company did not want to "blow the program up" and saw it as more of a "tweek" type situation as well. However, I don't think most Michigan fans (including myself) understood the state of the program at that time. The Florida win gave us a very warm and fuzzy feeling, however, the national (and local) reaction of "how the f#%k did Michigan beat Florida" was a little more telling then the win itself.

The fact that both Miles and Schiano both passed on the Michigan job (regardless of the all the retroactive reasoning as to why they did not accept) was and is very telling as well. Michigan did not hunt down the best and brightest coach in America and watch as he bowed to the Maize and Blue in all its glory. They searched the land for somebody that would "take the job" and it took them a great while. I don't think that Rodriguez can be judged on what we, as fans, thought the program was, he must be judged on what the program has been shown to be.

RR has not taken very good football players and made them bad. He and his staff, for the most part, have been coaching football for a very long time. Lloyd Carr had a formula, and it was a formula designed to take 2-3 upper tier players, combine them with many average to slightly above average recruits, and win 8-9 games and compete for a big ten title. That was the Carr way after about 1999.

What was being asked of the new regime was to take the program to an elite level and compete for national championships. It is certainly of note that the two coaches who were offered the job of "tweek and go" passed up on the offer due in large part to the fact that once the hood was opened, it was more than a spark plug issue, in fact, the engine needed to be replaced.

Most here did not know this, and from his reaction and subsequent actions, I don't think Rodriguez did either. I think that Rodriguez is troubling in a lot ways. I think that it is a valid question to ask why Rodriguez was so willing to bust ass out of Morgantown with a NC contender and all key players returning when others could not stay far enough away from AA. I think he has handled the local media relations poorly, I question the document shredding, I question his understanding of the type of scrutiny that he has signed up for. But none of the questions that I have about Rodriguez can shield or change the fact that Rodriguez is here going through this shit storm for one reason... because nobody else would. That should tell us something about the state of the program that he inherited.

STW P. Brabbs

December 7th, 2009 at 9:06 AM ^

You're baldly misrepresenting two things. First: Miles was never offered the job. Even if he was, your argument is: "One coach at an elite program riding a tide of success did not take the job. One coach who had built a program up from the ground level to a high but not elitle level, and probably enjoyed lifetime career security, did not take the job. And one coach, who had built a program from mediocrity to an elite level AND probably enjoyed lifetime career security for having done so took the offer." That doesn't sound all that damning to me, and it certainly doesn't support the silly conclusion that "nobody else" would have come here.

Second, your characterization of Lloyd's recruiting in relation to Rodriguez's is ridiculous. Go back and look at the average star rating and the distribution of said stars in Lloyd's classes, and take another look at the scrappy band of system players that are due to sign this year. "Take 2-3 upper tier players, combine them with many average to slightly above average recruits" sounds more like a summary of the incoming class of 2010 than any recruiting class under Lloyd.

ijohnb

December 7th, 2009 at 9:18 AM ^

of coaches is there to select from. Coaches that have taken national powers and marginalized them, coaches that took the reigns at a less than program and kept is less than. I believe the two coaches mentioned form a pretty accurate control sample of what Michigan was selecting from.

And perhaps Miles was not "offered" the job in the same way that ND has not "offered" the job to Urban Meyer or Bob Stoops.

ijohnb

December 7th, 2009 at 9:31 AM ^

Let me rephrase in a manner that meets your specifications. Michigan was a cadillac, the envy of all college football programs. Rodriguez was the man from the very beginning. He was who Michigan wanted and he wanted Michigan. He has came into this shining light of a program, decimated it, rebuilt it when only tweeking was necessary, took great recruits and made them very suspect, and won only three conference games in the last two years, but he remains a great coach who has taken no missteps along the way, and should continue to have the full support of the fans and athletic department as he inherited a struggling program that was just fine.

Now you have it all possible ways. Have several cakes, and eat all of them.

ijohnb

December 7th, 2009 at 9:22 AM ^

I believe that Rodriguez's departure from West Virgina was somewhat puzzling, especially after declining Alabama a year earlier and leading WV to BCS birth that year. Do you not feel the slightest discomfort with Rodriguez's management of Michigan's football program so far? Doesn't mean that I don't support the guy. My post was in his defense.

Don

December 7th, 2009 at 10:39 AM ^

As for why RR left WVU: First, there were substantial issues between RR and WVU AD Ed Pastilong about a variety of things aside from on-field success. The relationship between the two guys had become extremely negative, and the problems had been building for longer than the 2007 season.

Second, RR's predecessor at WVU was Don Nehlen, who was an assistant under Bo from '77 through '79 before he took the job in Morgantown. RR played for Nehlen himself, was an assistant under him, and naturally valued Nehlen's advice. When RR asked Nehlen about whether he should consider taking the job at Michigan, Nehlen essentially said it was a no-brainer. Even though Nehlen was very successful at WVU and retired there as the most successful WVU coach in history, he had no illusions about where UM and WVU ranked in the college football food chain.

I'm not one of those who believes that RR is beyond criticism, btw. Nobody should be negged for simply doubting whether RR can get it done, or for criticizing the play on the field. I just hope nobody by now subscribes to the long-discredited notion that RR shredded irreplaceable documents that didn't exist in other offices at WVU. That allegation was proven to be hogwash within a day or two after it initially surfaced in Morgantown. It's not unreasonable to be skeptical of the coaching job RR and staff have done so far, but the amazing amount of bullshit put forth by people in Morgantown, at the Free Press, and repeated by the national and local media distract people from what is going down on the field, which is where the focus should be. People should be free to make up their own minds about RR, but ideally it should be facts that are used, not internet rumors.

As for Smith's transfer, this wouldn't be an issue were it not for the depth issues overall and especially on defense, and also in light of the whole fraudulent notion of "family values" started by Boren and continued by the departure of Wermers and others. I'm disappointed he's leaving because there's no reason to think he couldn't have become a strong contributor in his remaining years, but to jump to the conclusion that this means something's "rotten" in the program in terms of morale or attitude is simply not supported by other facts. If there's anything RR and staff deserve credit for over the last two seasons, it's that the team as a whole has not quit or dissolved into backbiting and backstabbing. It's probable that Smith's transfer has to do with his perceptions of the playing time he deserves, but unless he speaks about his transfer himself it's all idle speculation. I'd be more concerned if it was due to his view of the quality of position coaching he's getting, but we may never know in his case.

STW P. Brabbs

December 7th, 2009 at 9:26 AM ^

Maybe you're still an optimist and you disagree with Simi, but it's a very well-written and reasonable post. Again, I'm not saying you have to agree with it at all (full disclosure: I largely do), but if you negged it, perhaps you should consider whether you're ready to be rational about Rodriguez or whether you're just a fanboy.

colin

December 7th, 2009 at 7:50 AM ^

of the Carr years are revealing enough, don't you think?

1)The Year of Infinite Pain
2)Rock.
3)The Horror

Additionally, see Misopogon's investigations of the recruiting and retention shortcomings that traced Carr's clear responsibility. In sum for the defensive side of the ball: perilous lack of depth. It was most acute in the back 7, leading directly to Jordan Kovacs: walk-on, former leg surgery patient, starting safety. These issues began to manifest themselves under Carr. Ezeh was forced into action despite being a low three star redshirt freshman. Mouton was higher ranked (and runs like it), but plays only somewhat better and started a year or two or more early. This wouldn't be that big a deal given normal attrition: these kinds of players would either not play* until they were 3rd-5th year players or maybe never. Recruits, even four star recruits, have high bust rates. It takes about 4 recruits to get 1 starter.

On the offensive side of the ball, what amounted to the entire offense left in '07, including the 5 star back up/would be '08 starter.** That left Threet, who amounted to a kind of
Mallett Jr. talent-wise, Nick Sheridan, little talent or depth on either the line (go back and watch the Utah game) or at receiver...and good RB play. By the end of the season, they were pretty good at rushing. By the end of '09, they were pretty good at rushing and average at passing. This despite a true freshman QB duo.

Anything on Rodriguez's shoulders includes things like Warren's early departure (depending on his pick number), Justin Feagin and, obviously, Brandon Smith. Smith and Warren may need explanation. If Warren is leaving despite expecting a later pick, then it stands as a judgment on Gibson in particular, but Rodriguez as well. Smith's departure is inexplicable only if he's better than the other options (why spurn playing time?). So he's either leaving because he doesn't think he's as good as the other options*** or it was the dreaded Something Else, which could really be any number of things (see: Sam McGuffie). Absent details, it's all just speculation. We all need to just cool our Japanese jets and let everything sort itself out in this case and in general. By the time it makes sense to fire Rodriguez, we'll know for sure. If we're playing this for the long run, we can afford to make sure for a few years.

*e.g. Cobrani Mixon started at Kent State this past year.

**It's preposterous to lay Mallett's departure on Rodriguez. Regardless of how you feel about various rumors of his totally assholery, it made perfect sense for Mallett to move on. Michigan makes all the sense in the world with Loeffler as QB coach. With Rod Smith? Compare that to Bobby Petrino at Arkansas. It's a move that made sense for both parties.

***Assumed: Cobrani Mixon starting at Michigan this past year would not have been better than Ezeh or Mouton starting for Michigan.

Seth

December 7th, 2009 at 12:23 PM ^

Additionally, see Misopogon's investigations of the recruiting and retention shortcomings that traced Carr's clear responsibility.

That's not what the Decimated Defense Series said.

The lack of linebacker and defensive back recruits was his (and his staff's) fault, but it was only that in addition to RR's retention problems which destroyed us.

In essence, we had Penn State-like recruiting, and Alabama-like attrition. PSU-like recruiting you can get away with if you have high retention rates. Alabama-like attrition you can get away with if you have huge classes the size of Alabama's (and if you, like Saban, can make sure it's the old 3-stars who are doing the exiting). Both and you end up with nobody around.

Specifically, with the 2008 class, RR stuck with Carr's recruits (two linebackers didn't even make it to campus) and focused his efforts on getting a few ninjas for his offense, striking out with the top ninja he targeted.

RR knew he was changing Michigan's culture, and that we would lose some guys to such culture shock was foreseeable. I don't know how much more defensive recruiting he could have done, given the time and scouting restraints, but I'm sure there were people around who knew which guys we were in on who might be re-interested, or scouting reports on guys who maybe wanted a more RR-like program. One more 4-star defensive back recruit in that class could have made a huge difference.

STW P. Brabbs worries about RR being kept at arm's length from fulfilling his potential are well-founded at this point. No matter what truly belongs at RR's feet, we have a perception problem. We were 3-9 and 5-7 in the first two years of Rodriguez's tenure. That means any conversation with any recruit has to begin with explaining why that won't be the norm.

If we went 5-7 in 2008 and 7-5 this season, I wouldn't be worried. But now we've come two games under moderate expectations both years. We now have a perception problem in a sport where perception problems hurt long-term success. We now have a dearth of players in a conference that doesn't let teams quickly replace players. We are trying to work our way back up to the upper echelons in a sport designed to protect the teams in the upper echelons. I'm starting to worry.

STW P. Brabbs

December 7th, 2009 at 12:42 PM ^

I tend to fly off the handle a bit and usually fail to state things this clearly. This might be the best assessment I've seen of where responsibility lies for the lack of defensive depth.

Like you say, as long as recruiting stays at a high level, you can be confident things will work out in the end. It takes a great coach and a lot of luck to build a program up to the point where it can recruit at an elite level once a 'perception problem' is dire enough. Next year will be truly crucial, and we're already behind the eight ball with Warren's departure. Let's hope for the best.

colin

December 7th, 2009 at 5:01 PM ^

The lack of linebacker and defensive back recruits was his (and his staff's) fault, but it was only that in addition to RR's retention problems which destroyed us.

That fits with what I outlined. The point was to demonstrate Carr's culpability, not lay everything at his feet. It was an attempt to summarize this:

Linebacker is a clear-cut case of decimation due to attrition. Defensive back is a clear-cut case of decimation due to under-recruiting. Both of these factors have ravaged each class from 2005 to 2008. Along the way, there were some serviceable players picked up, but we are still generally two serviceable players short of the Michigan norm at several linebacker positions and all four defensive backfield positions, i.e. we are at least 12 good, useful, on-the-roster players away from a normal Michigan defense.

As you said, 2008 was a microcosm of what had been happening at Michigan for the past few seasons:

The 2008 linebacker and DB hauls are a perfect microcosm of Michigan's bigger problems.

Linebacker: At a position that had zero depth left over from previous classes, we brought in four 4-star players: Marcus Witherspoon, Taylor Hill, J.B. Fitzgerald, and Kenny Demens. Of those, two (Witherspoon and Hill) were lost immediately to attrition. One (Fitzgerald) is on track to be a long-term contributor. One (Demens) seems to be a bust. In this case, Michigan fulfilled its recruitment needs, but was hit by double the expected attrition. Result: one serviceable player when we needed at least two.

Defensive back: At a position that had zero depth left over from previous classes, we brought in two 4-stars (Brandon Smith and Boubacar Cissoko) and one flier (J.T. Floyd). As with Mouton, Smith was immediately deemed a linebacker, and this was a known likelihood during the recruitment period, so really we brought in just a 4-star and a flier. The 4-star looked to be a bit behind track for his rating, until he got himself kicked off the team. The flier, as was the expected result, was not useful. Result: zero serviceable players when we needed at least two or three.

Where do you lay the blame for Witherspoon and Hill? What about under-recruiting safety and corner? What about Booboo? Why not go over individually each player that Rich has lost? The suggestion hasn't been until possibly now that it's worth leaving as a result of the direction of the program. Like I said, Smith's departure is only an indictment if it turns out he's talented and useful for the team. Given that Leach and Kovacs have been in the program as long as he has, I'm guessing that's not the case.

Seth

December 7th, 2009 at 5:52 PM ^

I think I put Hill and Witherspoon on Rodriguez. Under-recruiting safety and corner is wholly on Lloyd and his people.

Booboo? I could say Cissoko is on Cissoko, but that's a cop-out. If I need to pick a coach, it's Rich Rod. How much did Lloyd know about a guy he recruited for a career he wouldn't be there for? How much should RR know about a guy he recruited for a shorter time, but then had in his program for a year? Who knows if a coach could have done something to save that situation, but if any coach was in that position, it was Rodriguez more so than Carr.

Defensive back recruiting in particular probably has as much to do with Ron English as anybody else. Dude was DBs coach who inherited Marlin Jackson, Ernest Shazor, Markus Curry and Jeremy LeSueur. Then all of a sudden we don't have two half-way useful safeties for years, and Johnny Sears is starting.

Another un-mentioned factor is that the 2006 class as a whole (NCAA-wise) was crappy for defensive backs. There's a reason that Donovan Warren is such a highly rated guy in this year's pre-draft -- there's not a lot of great upperclassmen corners. A crummy national class hurts big programs, since they end up having to take the same fliers that lower programs are built on.

Anyway, so long as you don't completely absolve RR for the attrition experienced since his arrival, I'm good with your analysis.

I disagree with this:

Like I said, Smith's departure is only an indictment if it turns out he's talented and useful for the team.

We don't get to make decisions in hindsight. Foresight counts. Otherwise, you have to go with expected contribution. You don't know what he'll become. You know he was a 4-star, which gives like a 60-percent chance of becoming a solid starter. If we have Brandon Smith and Isaiah Bell and Mike Jones for that position, and one is a 4-star and two are 3-stars, then losing the 4-star much reduces the chances of getting one productive starter out of that bundle.

Further evidence that this is a loss is that he played on the 1st team this year against Wisconsin ahead of Michael Williams. Granted, it was to give us a more anti-run look, and he didn't perform well. But lots of guys step on the field their first time and look like lost puppies: J.B. Fitzgerald is one. Others: Chris Graham, LaMarr Woodley, Willis Barringer. Guy could be anything. The fact that he earned PT could be a sign that he was showing something in practice. It also could be a sign that of our two starting safeties, one was a freshman walk-on, and the other was the weaker of the pair.

colin

December 7th, 2009 at 7:06 PM ^

as fans, we have the luxury of waiting to make conclusions. That said, there are plenty of indicators that Brandon Smith was not a contributor on a good Michigan team. Ezeh and Mouton started at the same age with functionally similar competition. Transferring from a program is usually a function of a bad match, the most significant variable of which is expected playing time.*

This is a less than normal situation (see note), so it's harder to determine what's actually at play. There's some chance he was on track for significant non-ST playing time as far as GERG/Rod saw it. I think the elephant in the room that's caused much of the panic is that he sees M as a sinking ship under Rodriguez and he'd be willing to not play for a year in order to get out. I hope that sounds a little absurd spelled out, but still: all the more reason to wait and see. Let's at least figure out where he expects to go.

*other variables likely to be significant: distance of U from HS, perceived program prestige, recent program success...all clearly issues for UM recruiting/retention atm.

msoccer10

December 7th, 2009 at 10:39 AM ^

No, but I can't think of a really good pro-style coach that was available to continue the Bo-era Michigan which we both miss. They could have gotten Harbaugh I guess, but he was just starting his head coaching career and has foot in mouth disease. I don't think Miles is a great coach even if we could have gotten him. He won his national title with a lot of luck and someone else's players. Schiano wasn't intereseted.

Rodriguez had by far the best resume and was fairly young. I don't think anyone realized how the combination of blowing up the offense, retooling the defense and lack of talent would lead to 8-16 over the first two years. Its obvious that Rodriguez has to take some blame for the record and some of the other things going on like attrition.

At the time though, the hire was absolutely the right move. And the right move now is to keep him as our coach until he has 4 years unless next year is a total disaster. 4 years. Time for his first class to be seniors. Its not because he has proven anything here, its because that is the right amount of time to know for sure he won't turn it around, and removing him any sooner will lead to more problems.

Michichick

December 6th, 2009 at 7:15 PM ^

Before there is a site-wide meltdown about attrition being the coaches' fault or that there are issues about Smith's talent or fit at a certain position or Toney Clemons' Facebook page, consider that there may be issues that don't appear on the surface and about which the department can't or won't make public comment. Other players have left having nothing to do with reasons that anyone here has suggested (think Boubacar Cissoko, Kurt Wermers). I hope Brandon Smith succeeds wherever he lands. He's a good kid.

kman23

December 6th, 2009 at 5:14 PM ^

Is his transfer guaranteed?

I know that a number of players (under Carr) talked about transferring and then stayed at U of M. I know Chris Perry thought about leaving. He talked with Carr and Carr convinced him to stay.

I really hope someone convinces him that he should stay by mentioning that 1. he is the favorite to replace the graduating Stevie Brown 2. that his size/speed combo is perfect for that role in Robinson's defense 3. that in most Big 12/SEC/ACC teams his speed issue will be much more of an issue and 4. that a U of M education trumps 98% of D-1 schools.

Double Nickel BG

December 6th, 2009 at 5:40 PM ^

for the final time. No he never has played and never will play SBs spot. He is a FS because he isn't fast enough to play SS or the Spinner, which would require him dropping into coverage on slot receivers.

Would he figure into the FS depth chart? Yea, I think he has shown he can be decent. But the favorite? I don't know. He would have to fight with Mike Williams and (insert incoming freshman here). Brandon Smith is a tweener that the coaches haven't been able to find a spot for. If he feels he can go to another program and find playing time, good luck to him.

It sucks because he was pretty good on special teams and it hurts depth.

kman23

December 7th, 2009 at 4:28 AM ^

No way is the spinner supposed to be faster than the FS. The FS is the last line of defense and speed is crucial. The spinner is really just a LB that can play coverage.

He did play spinner in a couple of games. He had a sack in one where he blitzed from an OLB position. FS very rarely blitz. Please don't talk to me like I'm an idiot. Michigan might have the rare defense where the FS is slower than the spinner but I have a hard time believing it. He was too slow to play close to the line and cover slot WR and TE's and RB's so Michigan would move him back to cover WRs that beat the CB? That makes zero sense.

Wide Open

December 6th, 2009 at 5:25 PM ^

"I didn't know about that early enrollment rule until now. Thanks Jim Delany for giving us yet another way we can maintain superiority over your conference (the primary reason being your teams aren't smart enough to bend the rules like ours do).

"Now it's time for a brisk workout on my dong-shaped speed bag before tonight's coronation."

- Nick Satan, Alabama coach

mendrygal

December 6th, 2009 at 5:30 PM ^

Smith leaving is like a dong graze. It doesn't hurt at first, but later on you're trying to figure out why it hurts all the way to your lower back, and you're about to make sick all over the floor. We should all be pretty calloused in that area by now.

mgovictors23

December 6th, 2009 at 6:20 PM ^

I don't know if anyone is going to agree with me but I think this kid had some talent. I think he would end up being a good player for us in the future, but I wish him the best of luck.

Blue in Yarmouth

December 7th, 2009 at 8:38 AM ^

and I think it is funny how people on this board are talking so definitively about how he would not have been a contributor anyway. The guy was a redshirt freshman people. Is it really that hard to imagine that he would have turned in to a good player in the next 3 years?

I am getting a little sick of the way people are always singing "you need to be all in for michigan" and the moment someone thinks of tranferring or gets in trouble they switch to "he sucks any way" or "he was never going to play".

This guy was taking the normal route to playing time in college football. A redshirt year and second year playing special teams with spot duty. Next year he would have got more playing time and continued on special teams (if UM had a normal depth chart) and then would have been a solid contributor in his last two years.

To bag on a redshirt freshman and say he would never have contributed is both lame and one hell of a shot in the dark.

EZMIKEP

December 6th, 2009 at 8:02 PM ^

but I really hope this is the end for awhile. Its beyond frustrating when you know the depth isn't there and we can't just replace a player through recruiting. I really hope Warren comes back and VS, Molk come back healthy sooner than later. We need some good things to go our way. I think after the last 2 years the fans deserve it.

Crime Reporter

December 6th, 2009 at 11:59 PM ^

I go away for a few hours and have a nice day with the family. I come back to catch up on things and see this miserable news. Man. I really liked Smith. He was one of the best LB's on my NCAA dynasty and now I have to update the damn rosters again.