Exit Stephen Hopkins

Submitted by Brian on December 3rd, 2012 at 2:11 PM



Fullback Stephen Hopkins has left the team, according to all of twitter. That's unexpected. Hopkins had some injury issues early this season and was on the verge of getting Wally Pipped by Joe Kerridge but had seemingly fought his way back to starting before a pretty terrible outing against Ohio State. Seems like that was a breaking point but that's just speculation.

With Paul Gyarmati graduating, that leaves Kerridge and freshman Sione Houma the main options at fullback, which is fine. Kerridge seemed to be a better blocker than Hopkins anyway. Houma has played on special teams for whatever reason and seems like more of a run/catch threat from the spot if and when he sees playing time. In addition to those two guys Michigan is also bringing in Khalid Hill and Wyatt Shallman as H-back sorts*, so they're fine at the spot.

Hopkins leaving opens up a 24th scholarship in the class, with more attrition pending. Given the flurry of offers Michigan has issued in the past few weeks it's clear they're looking for another linebacker, preferably a SAM type**, and I would guess they go above 25 if they find enough players they like.

*[FWIW I bet a dollar Shallman is on defense by the end of his freshman year.]

**[I don't think this has anything to do with Cam Gordon or Jake Ryan. It's more about the freshman class. If Royce Jenkins-Stone isn't going to be a SAM, and it doesn't look like he will, then there is no one younger than Ryan on the roster who can play the spot. Even if they make the logical move and slide Mario Ojemudia over, they could still use another guy there before Michael Ferns arrives in 2014.]



December 3rd, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

I heard rumors last off-season that Hopkins was considering a transfer, but he decided to give it one more go.  He came in and was told by Rodriguez that he could be tailback, and he turned into purely a blocking fullback for Hoke.  This doesn't really surprise me at all.


December 3rd, 2012 at 2:18 PM ^

Best of luck to you Mr Hopkins. With Stonum, Isaiah Bell, Chris Rock, Timani Carter, Terrence Talbott, Ricardo Miller, and now Hopkins makes 7. 7 a year average. Even though it happens every year, every time I'm still completely surprised.



December 3rd, 2012 at 4:18 PM ^

Perhaps, but PT as a redshirt freshman defensive lineman should not be expected.  If he left because of a lack of playing time at that point in his career, then he was borderline delusional.  That's the biggest reason I don't really think PT was the biggest issue.


December 3rd, 2012 at 2:29 PM ^

Nothing but the best wishes for Hopkins.  He accepted the move to fullback, gave it time, and played hard.  I wish him the best in finding his way at RB and hopefully he'll be playing on Sunday.


December 3rd, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

I know that the vast majority of recruits to big-time programs harbor dreams of making it to the NFL, but the reality is that very few do. Stephen has the option of transferring to a lesser school in search of more playing time, but maybe he's figured the cost/benefit and decided the UM degree is worth more in the long run. I hope that's the case.

Ali G Bomaye

December 3rd, 2012 at 2:50 PM ^

He could do both.  He's a junior this year, and never redshirted.  He could either graduate in three years this spring (no idea if that's an option for him academically) then transfer using the graduate school exemption to another school, where he would be eligible to play immediately, or he could attend Michigan next year and graduate in four years without playing, then transfer for a graduate year and use his fourth year of eligibility at another school.  The only downside to the latter track is that he would need to pay his own way for his fourth year at Michigan.

Blue boy johnson

December 3rd, 2012 at 2:35 PM ^

Good Luck Mr. Hopkins

Of M's 27 man class of 2010 13/27 remain


1 Richard Ash DT
2 Courtney Avery DB
3 Jibreel Black DE
4 Drew Dileo ATH
5 Josh Furman ATH
6 Devin Gardner QB
7 Will Hagerup K
8 Jeremy Jackson WR
9 Jordan Paskorz DE
10 Jerald Robinson WR
11 Marvin Robinson LB
12 Jake Ryan LB
13 Ken Wilkins DE

Left the Team or never arrived:

1 Cullen Christian DB
2 Demar Dorsey DB
3 Stephen Hopkins RB
4 Carvin Johnson DB
5 Conelius Jones ATH
6 Antonio Kinard LB
7 Christian Pace OL
8 Davion Rogers LB
9 Terrence Talbott DB
10 Terry Talbott DT
11 Ray Vinopal DB
12 Austin White RB
13 D.J. Williamson WR
14 Ricardo Miller WR



December 3rd, 2012 at 3:34 PM ^

We've gotten some great contributors already, but the majority of the remaining 2010 class has yet to make any real impact on the field. Some of them could break out in the rotation next year. I'd really like to see the remaining 13 stay and finish out their degrees. Still, I have to imagine we're in for another big recruiting class in 2014 with 5 or so firm handshakes going out to the 2010 RS class after next season on top of the likely 13 departing seniors, plus whatever natural attrition of 7 or so kids you never expect, yet always seems to happen.

Maize.Blue Wagner

December 3rd, 2012 at 2:37 PM ^

And so ends the running back class of Tony Drake, Stephen Hopkins, Dillon Baxter (ok maybe not, but everyone thought we were close when Carroll went to the NFL) and Austin White. We hardly knew...any of you. (Rivals lists Austin White having an offer from LSU. This surprises me.)


December 3rd, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

Sam Webb, during today's recruiting roundup, attributed the recent recruitment of several SAM-types to information that has not yet been made public.  (I'm paraphrasing.)


That would seem to indicate that there is something attrition-related afoot, rather than a sudden identification of need.


December 3rd, 2012 at 2:48 PM ^

Wish him luck. He was in a weird position with the transition, and injuries have not helped. Hopefully he'll either find playing time somewhere else or get his degree.


December 3rd, 2012 at 2:59 PM ^

I'm real confused.  If he's staying to get his degree does the athletic department still honor his scholly even though he's no longer on the team?   And if he's transferring how can he get his degree from Michigan?  

I understand the decision - just not the timing nor the implication he's going to stay and finish his education.


December 3rd, 2012 at 3:31 PM ^

Thank you Magnus - that makes sense.  So assuming he's tracking towards getting his degree in four years he could finish up the year, graduate and then do a Russel Wilson and finish his last year up someplace else.

The only thing I still dont get though is the timing of the announcement.  He could do all those things and play in the Bowl game too.  Why quit now?

Unless the staff told him based on his play against OSU he wouldnt see much playing time against USC perhaps?  



December 3rd, 2012 at 3:22 PM ^

You've gotta be just about the same size (or bigger) to play SAM.  I don't think Jenkins-Stone will have much of a problem getting up to MIKE size, but it might not be next year.  Demens was bigger coming out of high school, but he's also an inch shorter.  Give Jenkins-Stone another couple seasons, and I'm guessing he'll be in that 240 range.