See you when you’re back, Bunting.
Via Baumgardner, Ol’ Skillet Hands, er, senior tight end Ian Bunting plans to transfer for his final year of eligibility:
Ian Bunting announces he’s taking a graduate transfer
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) January 30, 2018
This site especially had high hopes for Bunting—as the original prospectin’ name suggests—as a dangerous receiving tight end. When Bunting seamlessly replaced Mackey Award-winner Jake Butt in the Orange Bowl last year it wasn’t hard to project the then-rising junior as heir apparent.
Despite more snaps for tight ends than any year since Bo—yes, I’ve tracked this—Bunting rarely cracked the rotation behind emerging stars Sean McKeon and Zach Gentry, not to mention Nick Eubanks. With a new position coach, his degree in hand, his path to playing time blocked by younger, upwardly mobile catchy-catchy-blocky tight ends*, and his eligibility running out, Bunting’s transfer makes plenty of sense. We’ll always have the Orange Bowl. He should be eligible to play immediately wherever he goes, and Michigan should be okay with the kids.
On a personal note, I’m saddened he never got to star at Michigan. I lost my dad at 34 and promptly got drunk for a week—Ian, not old enough to buy himself a beer when it happened to him—was at practice the next day. He has since been a major presence with the Michigan Relay for Life charity, which helps raise money for cancer research.
* [Tyrone Wheatley Jr. is more of a blocky-blocky-catchy tight end and not necessarily competing for all the same chances.]