Devin Asiasi, Ex-Wolverine

Tag: attrition


21Feb 2017
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Devin Asiasi, Ex-Wolverine

Devin Asiasi (#2, image via Fox)

Unfortunately, the rumors have come true: rising sophomore tight end Devin Asiasi is transferring. The Concord (CA) De La Salle native committed to Michigan on National Signing Day in 2016.

This is disappointing for me because I was very high on him coming out of high school. I named him as Michigan’s top offensive recruit in the 2016 class (LINK) and gave him a TTB Rating of 92 (LINK). I thought he would be a standout tight end in an offense that utilizes the position more than most programs. He was used mostly as a blocker – something he did effectively – as a freshman, but he also caught 2 passes for 18 yards and 1 touchdown.

Once considered to be an extremely deep position, the ranks are thinning at tight end. With Jake Butt’s graduation and Asiasi’s transfer, Michigan is down arguably its top two tight ends from the 2016 season. After not taking a tight end in the 2016 class, the Wolverines have presumed starter Ian Bunting, oft-used backup Tyrone Wheatley, Jr., and redshirt freshmen Nick Eubanks and Sean McKeon. There are some walk-ons who could contribute, as well as Zach Gentry, who spent much of last season practicing at wide receiver. It’s not an emergency situation, but the Wolverines are down to four scholarship tight ends, and Wheatley is the only plus blocker at this point.

The reason for the transfer has been mentioned as family issues, but some have pegged it as pure homesickness. Either way, he will probably transfer closer to home, and USC seems a likely landing spot. He will presumably have to sit out the 2017 season and then have eligibility for 2018-2020.

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19Jan 2017
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Wyatt Shallman, Ex-Wolverine

Three running backs from the class of 2013: Derrick Green, Wyatt Shallman, De’Veon Smith (image via 247 Sports)

Redshirt junior running back/fullback/linebacker Wyatt Shallman will pursue a graduate transfer opportunity elsewhere for next season. He played each of those positions at various times throughout his college career, though he finishes his days at Michigan with 4 career carries for 14 yards while playing in sixteen career games.

My history of discussing Shallman has been short and emphatic. I wrote a scouting report on him in January of 2012 (LINK), had a bit more to say about him when he committed in February of 2012 (LINK), and eventually landed on a TTB Rating of 65 (LINK). Beyond his recruitment, there really hasn’t been much reason to talk about him over the years. He started out as a tailback for Brady Hoke, which was a bad fit to begin. He took snaps at fullback for Jim Harbaugh back in the spring of 2016, and I noted that he did not look enthused to be a blocking back. He switched to defense in the middle of this past season, but that didn’t seem like a great solution. Switching positions in the middle of your fourth year generally isn’t a good sign.

There is the occasional recruit whose negative reviews engender some anger from, well, people who are interested in seeing that recruit succeed. I received a fair amount of hate mail after my assessment of Shallman’s abilities several years ago. Despite the fact that Shallman was a 247 Composite 4-star, the #1 fullback, and #299 overall, I didn’t see him making much of an impact at Michigan.

The departure of Shallman is a positive for all parties. Shallman was not going to play in 2017. He had already been passed up by classmates or younger players at every position he played, and he wasn’t a standout on special teams, either. This opens up a spot for a younger player or a transfer to enter the fray and compete for a more meaningful role. Meanwhile, Shallman has an opportunity to end up elsewhere – likely at a MAC school, I would guess – and carve out a spot.

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2Jan 2017
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David Dawson, Ex-Wolverine

David Dawson

Offensive guard David Dawson, who would be a fifth year senior at Michigan this fall, is seeking a graduate transfer elsewhere. He announced Monday via Twitter that he would be leaving.

Dawson attended Detroit (MI) Cass Tech, transferred to Texas for his junior year, and then returned to Cass Tech as a senior. He committed to Michigan in February 2012 as a part of the 2013 class, decommitted, and then later recommitted to the Wolverines. In fact, he broke Brady Hoke’s infamous “no visit” policy when he took a recruiting trip to Florida while committed to Michigan, so the coaching staff moved on without him. Eventually, fences were mended and he was “re-offered.”

I took a lot of flak for my thoughts on Dawson when he committed (LINK). You can see there that I was not fond of his abilities, and people were annoyed in the comments. My Twitter mentions weren’t a happy place, either. I gave him a TTB Rating of 71 (at the low end of being an eventual solid starter), and even that was generous. I didn’t see great bend in him, nor did I see a lot of nastiness in his play. Those things seemed to play out at Michigan, as well. He played in twelve career games without ever starting, and when he did play, he did not excel. He played in just three games as a backup in 2016, though an arm injury in the spring hampered him somewhat.

You’ll also see in the link above that I was afraid Michigan would fill up in the 2013 class without having room for the likes of Ethan Pocic. In fact, Pocic was turned away by Michigan and ended up signing with LSU. How did Pocic’s career go in Baton Rouge? He was First Team All-SEC in 2016, Second Team All-SEC in 2015, and started for his entire sophomore year after backup duty as a freshman. He’s considered to be one of the top couple center prospects in the 2017 draft. Imagine if Michigan had an all-conference center the past couple seasons to free up Mason Cole or Graham Glasgow to help at tackle or guard. Considering Michigan lost three games by a total of five points this season, it’s not inconceivable that it could have put Michigan in the playoff, if not at 12-0 in the regular season.

The loss of Dawson should not affect the team much in 2017. He was not expected to start, and he probably would not have been a key backup, either. He was obviously passed on the depth chart by the likes of freshman Ben Bredeson, classmate Patrick Kugler, sophomore Grant Newsome, redshirt sophomore Juwann Bushell-Beatty, and others. Next year’s starting interior could very well be Bredeson, center Mason Cole, and rising sophomore Michael Onwenu. With some highly rated recruits coming in and with some other promising young players, Dawson would have been battling just to be second string.

Michigan has 87 scholarship players scheduled for the fall of 2017 (LINK), so I expect some more departures. Quarterback Shane Morris and long snapper Scott Sypniewski have already begun seeking grad transfers, too.

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6Dec 2016
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Shane Morris, Ex-Wolverine




Shane-Morris

Former Michigan insider Tom Van Haaren, who still concentrates a lot on the Wolverines, reported earlier tonight that redshirt junior quarterback Shane Morris will transfer (LINK). Since he would be entering his fifth year of college with an undergraduate degree, he could transfer into any grad program that Michigan does not offer.

Morris committed to Michigan in May of 2011, even though he was a 2013 prospect. He was a 247 Composite 4-star, the #3 pro-style quarterback, and #72 overall out of Warren (MI) De La Salle. He was invited to the Elite 11 and played in the Under Armour All-America Game. At the time he was viewed as Michigan’s savior at quarterback, since then coach Brady Hoke was a pro-style guy and Morris was a borderline 5-star prospect to some services. Ultimately, though, the lack of development from Morris may have contributed to Hoke’s ouster. As an injury replacement for Devin Gardner, he completed 29/47 passes for 261 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions as a freshman, including his best career performance in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl after Gardner broke his foot. In that game he was 24/38 for 193 yards, along with 4 carries for 43 yards in the loss. Things were downright terrible in 2014 when he was 14/40 for 128 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions; the concussion he suffered against Minnesota induced new protocols throughout college football, since he was left in the game after taking a shot to the head/neck area and stumbling around for a moment.

When Jim Harbaugh arrived in 2015, Morris was #2 on the depth chart to begin the season, even though the coaching staff was trying to preserve a redshirt year. That was presumably to help him secure a grad transfer later in his career. He sat behind Jake Rudock and was eventually passed by Wilton Speight for the backup gig, anyway. Going into the 2016 season, he was a solid #3 behind Speight and John O’Korn. Morris played in certain packages this past season, mostly handing off the ball or leading the way on some toss sweeps. He was 4/5 for 45 yards this season, along with 3 carries for 19 yards, while playing in just six games.

Morris’s departure was expected. Michigan has a returning starter in Speight and some quality quarterbacks coming in the pipeline. The fate of backup John O’Korn is up in the air, since he also appears to be behind Speight going forward, but there was going to be a logjam with upperclassman quarterbacks. This development won’t hurt Michigan on the field. It opens a door for a potential contributor to get a scholarship.

Transfers and grad transfers often like to go close to home, so I would be inclined to guess that Morris will end up at a MAC school to finish out his career. Along with some big-time offers, he was pursued by Bowling Green, Central Michigan, and Toledo in high school. I’m not familiar with the quarterback situations at each school, but with his college track record, I sincerely doubt he’s going to get a look from another Power Five school unless they’re extremely desperate.

24Aug 2016
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Andrew David, Ex-Wolverine

Andrew David

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Redshirt freshman kicker Andrew David is reportedly transferring to TCU, which is an interesting location, considering that senior running back Derrick Green is also headed there.

David committed to Michigan in June of 2013 as part of the 2015 recruiting class (LINK). He was a 3-star and the #9 kicker in that class. He redshirted last year. I’m admittedly not an expert on kicking, so I mostly left it up to the recruiting sites to determine whether he was any good or not, and they generally thought he was. However, I did not hear great things coming out of practice about him, and when I saw him kicking at Ford Field this spring, I was very underwhelmed. After redshirting in 2015, he was expected to ride the bench this year with fifth year senior Kenny Allen and perhaps true freshman Quinn Nordin handling kickoffs, punts, and placekicking.

David is the second player from the 14-man class of 2015 to depart, joining wide receiver/safety Brian Cole (East Mississippi Community College).

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7Aug 2016
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Brady Pallante, Ex-Wolverine

pallantebrady2

Brady Pallante

Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Brady Pallante is not listed on the just-released fall roster. The 6’1″, 280-pounder was recruited by Brady Hoke in the 2014 class and was expected to be an undersized nose tackle. Jim Harbaugh moved him to fullback in spring 2015, but he played defensive tackle when injuries took their toll on Michigan’s defensive line. I thought he might develop as an upperclassman, but the position switch probably didn’t help him gain the necessary size and strength to be a Big Ten nose tackle. Michigan has also done a great job of recruiting and developing nose tackles, so he would have been no higher than fourth on the depth chart going into this season. I ranked him at #67 in the 2016 Season Countdown (LINK).

Michigan is down to 84 allotted scholarships for 2016 (LINK), and that includes walk-ons Kenny Allen and Ryan Glasgow. So one more lucky, hardworking walk-on will be rewarded with a scholarship this year.

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