Trying to Put Transfers in Perspective

Submitted by Expert In Bird Law on December 18th, 2018 at 8:52 PM

With all the freakout about the transfers, my self included, I found this article interesting. 


It lists all 54 players that have left the program early and what they have done since.

You will notice that only a handful actually did much post Michigan.



December 18th, 2018 at 9:17 PM ^

That is "half empty" ... "half full" is looking forward to the new crop of 4/5-star frosh to join the DL unit.  Smith and Hinton are going to be really good.  Watch their film - every bit as good as Solomon's high school tape.  We will be fine without Aubrey.  Wish him well, but he really didn't add much value the 2 years in the program.


December 18th, 2018 at 9:34 PM ^

Solomon's high school tape was one of the best I have ever seen.  Up there with Peppers' and Leonard Fournette's.

I was very excited to see what he would do here.  Even with the somewhat slow start, I expected him to yet break out.

Oh well.  Shit happens.

Taco and Mo Hurst didn't have especially noteworthy high school tapes that I recall, and look how well they did.

You can never know for sure ahead of time.

It shows why oversigning was such a big competitive advantage.  It gave you lots of do-overs when the can't miss prospects . . . missed. 


December 18th, 2018 at 9:28 PM ^

Asiasi (homesick) and Solomon (who missed almost all of 2018 with injuries) are really the only 2 that were in line to start - the rest had been passed on the depth chart, injured, left early for the NFL or had off the field issues - you move on and keep taking large recruiting classes, hanging onto the starters and the others work themselves out


December 18th, 2018 at 9:01 PM ^

The weirdest one in my opinion is the first one listed: Kyle Bosch. 

He decided right after Harbaugh was hired amongst all the excitment and fanfare. It made no sense whatsoever that he transferred. Does anyone have any inside info as to why?


December 18th, 2018 at 10:20 PM ^

Yes leaving did. Bosch was not in a good state mentally, and he was living a life that was unhealthy and was quickly approaching on self-destruction. It could have happened anywhere. It wasn’t anything about the University, just more it happened to be where he was at when struggling mentally.

Honk if Ufer M…

December 19th, 2018 at 10:18 AM ^

Yes, I have inside info. He did everything Hoke told him he needed to do in order to return to the team, but of course by the time he ready Hoke was gone, & the new man didn't even want to hear what he had to say, and to put it extremely mildly, made it known he was unwelcome to stay in Ann Arbor...

I knew Kyle fairly well, but from the time he left town after being suspended or whatever it officially was, before he came back only to be kicked off, I never saw him or talked to him again. However we had a mutual friend that was very close to him who told me right when it happened of the one way conversation with the one way ticket out of town.

Mike Damone

December 18th, 2018 at 9:03 PM ^

Is this supposed to be good, because we didn't miss out on their post-Michigan performances?  Or bad, because it suggests we recruited poorly and gave a sub-standard player a scholarship when we should have focused efforts elsewhere?

Would tell a more definitive story if there were a comparison against other Top 20 schools.

I choose to believe shit happens, kids develop differently physically and emotionally, and you hope to get more good student athletes than bad ones.



December 19th, 2018 at 1:21 AM ^

Actually, stars literally do not matter as far as player contributions go. The article shows you half of the equation: highly ranked guys like Cole, Green and Harris never fulfilled their promise.  The other half of the equation is 2* and 3* recruits who exceed expectations: Mike Hart Omameh, Kovacs and the Glasgows come to mind. What matters is ability, attitude and development. Stars just represent consensus guesses about how a particular kid will turn out. They don't actually affect anything other than the ranking of classes by ratings.




December 19th, 2018 at 2:25 PM ^

This is provably false, and has been proven to be false by many people, many times, using many methods.

Stars matter when projecting NFL draft status-- A LOT.

Stars matter when projecting performance of the team-- A LOT.

There are many, many examples of 3 stars who turn out to be all time greats, and many examples of 5 stars that turn out to be busts.  That does not constitute data, nor is it an argument.  It's just a collection of anecdotes.

Fortunately, we are able to use statistics to take large amounts of data and identify correlations, so we are able to overcome our psychological tendency to notice and remember outliers and establish objective facts based on large amounts of data.  In this case, the results of different kinds of statistical analysis show unambiguously a strong correlation between how a player is ranked and how good they are in college and the pros.


December 19th, 2018 at 6:02 PM ^

You're confusing correlation with causation. Guys become consensus 5* because a lot of individuals who are professional at evaluating talent have come to a consensus that the individual being evaluated has a lot of potential. Their evaluation is more frequently correct than incorrect so the players considered 5* players will more often than not excel. But the awarding of a 5th star isn't what makes a player good.


December 18th, 2018 at 9:39 PM ^

Maybe a bit of both.

Some players don’t make the leap from high school to college.  Same for good college players not making it in the pros. Looking at the NFL draft for example; how many times is a first or second round pick declared a “bust”?  Or, a random 6th round QB pick sometimes work out.

I contend that the move up to a higher competitive level can me more of a mental adjustment/challenge than physical.  Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

Mike Damone

December 18th, 2018 at 9:46 PM ^

Agree.  But also think that people underestimate the physical development that may or may not take place between 17-22.  Some kids max out physically at 17 - others are just starting to come into their own at 18-19, and their development takes off.. 

When you mix in injuries, performance in class, issues with family and girlfriends - really does feel like a crapshoot at times.


December 18th, 2018 at 10:22 PM ^

Damone, you're 100% correct.

That's why the have 85 scholarships and play 22 guys...of course with special teams, subs, and specialists more see the field.

EVERY 4 and 5 star's tape from HS looks good, they dominate. Now they get to the next level, some don't continue to develop, some can't handle the mental side (ie everybody is flipping good), and some struggle with academics/ away from home...they're just kids.

Been 35 years since my days, but I saw alot of hot shots who just didn't keep progressing through college. It happens. Doesn't mean they are bad people or bad players...just not quite good enough...and most still want to play the game they love.

We should all wish them well as they chase their dream. (Or put on the tin hat and worry that this is we've seen on a few threads over the last few days.)


December 18th, 2018 at 10:50 PM ^

A high school valedictorian lived two rooms down from me at Bursley my freshman year.  He couldn’t handle getting 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s on his tests.  The pressure made him turn to his bong to hide and he eventually flunked out.  Sold 5* brain in high school that was just another smart kid at Michigan.


December 18th, 2018 at 9:47 PM ^

I only scrolled through the article for a bit because Shaw is really lazy or bad on this one:

  • Waves off Pipkins medical evaluation as just "trying to free up a scholarship spot" which is crazy because Pipkins transferred in the summer 
  • Just names Bosch but doesn't list the reason (I get being non-specific about it but his personal issues are pretty well known)
  • Doesn't even call out which guys were grad transfers


December 18th, 2018 at 9:09 PM ^

Reading each of the entries made me feel glad that the student was able to find a better fit, sad that character / off the field issues got in the way or sad because of injury.

In all cases, I don't feel any ill will to any of the players and genuinely hope for their best.

This doesn't seem like a program issue.


December 18th, 2018 at 9:13 PM ^

Wow, reading these makes me sad.  You only have one fleeting shot at college football glory and a lot of these guys wasted it, or never really got a shot at it.  It will never come back.

They were all some kind of big star most of their lives to be recruited by a place like Michigan, but now that ride is over. 

Some other guy is always ready to take your place.

I hope they were able to take advantage of the educational opportunities at Michigan or the school they transferred to.


December 18th, 2018 at 9:14 PM ^

Football is a brutal sport and attrition is part of it.  Like others have said, the list of transfers hasn't really hurt the "program" that bad.  Even the top ranked guys on the list just didn't cut it.  Too early to say on the guys that left the program this year.  Good luck to them all

Football Heaven

December 18th, 2018 at 9:17 PM ^

I wish the players the best of luck, but I have found in my own life that it rarely works to run away from problems. Most of these guys are running from some adversity, but will likely find the same thing where they are going. 


December 18th, 2018 at 9:19 PM ^

As a general rule of thumb, transfers rarely make a big impact. Heck, look at Michigan. We've had a ton of guys transfer in during Harbaugh's tenure and only two of them ended up starting (Shea and Rudock). Unless im forgetting someone?


December 18th, 2018 at 9:20 PM ^

Kekoa Crawford never transferred anywhere? I know he wasn’t very good, albeit I think he was pressed into too big of a role too early; I am surprised he didn’t end up elsewhere.