Exit Thomas Rawls

Submitted by Brian on January 25th, 2014 at 2:01 PM


MLive reporter Eric Woodyard has tweeted that Thomas Rawls is transferring to Central Michigan. The writing was on the wall for Rawls after being passed by not only two freshman tailbacks but—at least in the land of depth charts—Drake Johnson. Rawls didn't see a carry after the opener despite the chaos at tailback, and wasn't going to next year. This has likely been in the works for a while, as Michigan started pursuing a tailback in the 2014 recruiting class a couple months ago.

Rawls was a Signing Day add in the Rodriguez/Hoke transitional class with generic three star hype from everyone except Fred Jackson, who made ludicrous comparisons to Mark Ingram because that's what Fred Jackson does.

I'll wait until spring practice is over to update the Attrition Watch fully; for now just know that Rawls is the eighth member of the 21-man 2011 class to depart. With Desmond Morgan, Frank Clark, Blake Countess, Brennen Beyer, and Raymon Taylor looking like starting-quality players, the 2011 outfit is marginally better than 2010. Marginally being your key word there.

Michigan will go into spring with a tentative depth chart like so:

  1. Derrick Green
  2. DeVeon Smith
  3. Justice Hayes
  4. Drake Johnson



January 25th, 2014 at 2:09 PM ^

WIth all the added offers to RB's not exactly a shock. WIsh him well and hope he gets quality playing time at Central. Now on to the recruiting speculation and what this means for Michigan in the future.


January 25th, 2014 at 2:09 PM ^

Rawls looked pretty good in his TD run last season.  4.2ypc the year before, 6.1 the year before that.  Statistically he was not bad, I always thought that if he had a little quicker feet, he would be a good BT RB.  Maybe he will be a good MAC RB.

Does he have to sit out a year...anyone know?


January 25th, 2014 at 2:18 PM ^

Actually its a combination of both things. Most people know and understand this. The problem is there are factions on either side that excuse one or the other so viciously that it brings an insane amount of negativity to any situation discussing Michigan's failings. 

This is actually good attrition. Rawls goes somewhere he may play, Michigan frees up a scholarship for a player who will likely contribute more than Rawls could if he stayed. 


January 25th, 2014 at 3:03 PM ^

If I counted right there are only 10 offensive seniors in 2013, 2014 and 2015 combined. That tells you something about how unbelievably young we were last year.

Edit: I guess that number is technically 14, but if we are talking about guys who are expected to ever start a game? That number is closer to 6.


January 25th, 2014 at 3:51 PM ^

Which of the 2010-class attrition do you attribute to The Process? Cullen Christian and Ray Vinopal I can see--they landed on their feet playing FBS-level football. But who else? Demar Dorsey? Antonio Kinard? Davion Rogers, Austin White, Jerald Robinson...go down the list, what did any of that have to do with the coaching change?


January 25th, 2014 at 2:11 PM ^

"Thomas Rawls, potentially, he brought too much to the table here at Michigan. His talents were so great that, realistically, he had to transfer to Central Michigan so that two Michigan University communities could appreciate his contributions. Aside from that, I fully expect him to bring more sunshine to Mount Pleasant. I'm sure if he were to visit Soaring Eagle not only would he be the luckiest man in there...he'd probably leave with all the ladies. I'd wish him luck but players like Thomas come along once in a generation. I'd say I'd miss him but he'll be part of my memories forever"

Best wishes Thomas.


January 25th, 2014 at 2:30 PM ^

Except if you have graduated and the school you are going to has a master's degree program not offered by your old school.  I have no idea if that applies in Rawls's case, but Gardner graduated early so it isn't unheard-of for guys in their 4th year to be doen with a degree.


January 25th, 2014 at 2:15 PM ^

Wish him the best.  Sad to see him go, but probably for the best if he wants to see playing time.  He was kind of stuck in no-man's land as a power back without a great ability to move the pile, but maybe with more playing time he'll find a better niche.


January 25th, 2014 at 2:29 PM ^

four deep at running back, three of whom were highly rated, I feel pretty good about that. (But yeah, o-line)

  1. Derrick Green 5-star
  2. DeVeon Smith 4-star
  3. Justice Hayes 4-star
  4. Drake Johnson 3-star

I Like Burgers

January 25th, 2014 at 2:56 PM ^

If they don't take a RB in this class (which it seems like they won't), that's moderately scary depth.  Drake is coming back from an ACL tear, so who knows how he'll be, and Hayes is projected to be more of a slot.  So now you've got just Green and Smith.  With the wear and tear RBs go through, that's not good.

I Like Burgers

January 25th, 2014 at 3:04 PM ^

If we do, it'd be from someone committing without ever seeing campus.  Jones cancelled his visit on the 31st (due to Michigan pulling back according to TomVH), Mack doesn't have anything scheduled, and Enwere is supposedly solid to Cal now.

So unless they throw out an 11th hour offer to someone, those are the options at the moment and none of them look good.


January 25th, 2014 at 3:08 PM ^

Back when Rawls came to Blue, but I am not so sure that his comments on the exit will ring true.

I wish him the best and it would be great to see him attain a high level of competence for the Chips.  Interesting that he would pick a FBS school and sit out the year.  It shows that he is not afraid of competition.


January 25th, 2014 at 3:13 PM ^

I too think the RB depth is dicey.  Perhaps Houma could move to RB as he is more agile than the other fullbacks and Nuss does not use the FB much.