Ex-Wolverine Player Updates: Post-2018 Recap

Tag: Kurt Taylor


2Jan 2019
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Ex-Wolverine Player Updates: Post-2018 Recap

Keith Washington (#28, image via Zimbio)

At this point in Michigan’s program, along with the college football landscape, there are too many players to include in one post. There are at least 53 players who have either transferred or decommitted from Michigan in the last five full classes (2014-2018), plus the incomplete 2019 class. So I’m temporarily breaking up this concept into three separate posts, one for transfers, one for former commits, and one for coaches. It’s a lot easier to manage during the season when people are injured, redshirting, etc.

TRANSFERS

Devin Asiasi, TE (UCLA): Asiasi was second on the depth chart at tight end behind Caleb Wilson, who was the team’s leading receiver. Asiasi himself made 6 catches for 130 yards (21.7 YPC) and 1 touchdown. UCLA went 3-9 and missed out on bowl eligibility.

Ian Bunting, TE (Cal): Bunting was Cal’s leading tight end, finishing with 18 catches for 195 yards (10.8 YPC) and 0 touchdowns. Cal went 7-6.

Freddy Canteen, WR (Tulane): Canteen – who had injuries at Michigan, transferred to Notre Dame, had more injuries at Notre Dame, and then transferred to Tulane – missed the 2018 season with yet another shoulder injury. His spate of injuries may allow him to apply for a sixth year of eligibility in 2019 if he wants to continue playing.

Brian Cole, S (Mississippi State): Cole played in the first five games of the season for Mississippi State until a shoulder injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year. During those five games, he made 11 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, and 10 kickoff returns for 225 yards (22.5 yards/return). Mississippi State went 8-4.

Hit the jump for more.

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29Dec 2018
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Polynesian Bowl participants: Michigan

Oakley (CA) Freedom WR Giles Jackson (image via Oregon Live)

The third annual Polynesian Bowl will be played in Honolulu, HI, on January 19, 2019. Here are the Michigan players scheduled to participate:

2019
Giles Jackson, WR – Freedom, CA*

2018
None

2017
Corey Malone-Hatcher, DE – St. Joseph, MI**
Dylan McCaffrey, QB – Littleton, CO
Phillip Paea, DT – Berrien Springs, MI
Joshua Ross, LB – Orchard Lake, MI
Kurt Taylor, RB – Loganville, GA

*Scheduled to play in the upcoming game

**Selected but not participating due to early enrollment

6Nov 2018
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Kurt Taylor, Ex-Wolverine

Redshirt freshman running back Kurt Taylor has decided to transfer from Michigan.

Listed at 5’8″, 195 lbs., Taylor had played some on special teams but had not played running back yet in his career. He had been passed by the obvious upperclassmen, but he had also been passed by walk-on Tru Wilson and true freshman Christian Turner. I gave Taylor a TTB Rating of 57 (LINK), so this development is on par with what I expected all along. The pathway to playing time at Michigan was going to be long and arduous. This should not affect Michigan on the field at all.

Taylor played at Covington (GA) Newton for most of his high school career, but he played his senior year at Loganville (GA) Grayson, a powerhouse program that has raised some eyebrows for its, er, alleged recruiting practices. Michigan currently has a commitment from 2019 Grayson product Trente Jones, an offensive tackle, so it may be something to watch to see if any bad blood might sour the relationship between Michigan and Grayson.

Taylor is the fifth player from the 2017 class to transfer (joining OT James Hudson, OG Ja’Raymond Hall, DT Deron Irving-Bey, LB Drew Singleton), and the sixth total to leave (DE Corey Malone-Hatcher took a medical scholarship).

5Jul 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #76 Kurt Taylor

Kurt Taylor (image via Twitter)

Name: Kurt Taylor
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 194 lbs.
High school: Covington (GA) Newton/Loganville (GA) Grayson
Position: Running back
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #5
Last year: I ranked Taylor #79 and said he would be a backup with 5 carries for 20 yards (LINK). He redshirted.

There wasn’t a lot of room for spare carries last season, because Karan Higdon, Chris Evans, and Ty Isaac were all expected to carry the load – and on top of them, there was heralded recruit Kareem Walker. Michigan brought in two running backs in the 2017 class, and while Taylor was bigger and stronger, the scant freshman carries went to O’Maury Samuels, not Taylor.

Now it’s 2018 and there are 108 tailback carries vacated by Isaac (graduated) and Walker (transferred). Where will those carries go? When asked about the tailback position group in the spring, Jim Harbaugh mentioned walk-on running back Tru Wilson at #3. Whether that sticks or not remains to be seen, but Taylor still seems to be an afterthought. Wilson, Samuels, and one of the freshmen will probably get carries, but I don’t see much of the load going in Taylor’s direction. If he can develop into the team’s best pass blocker, then I think he might have a chance to get on the field, but he’s perhaps the least athletic runner in the group.

Prediction: Backup running back

30May 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #79 Kurt Taylor

Name: Kurt Taylor
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 200 lbs.
High school: Covington (GA) Newton/Loganville (GA) Grayson
Position: Running back
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year:  Taylor was a senior in high school. He ran 191 times for 930 yards and 14 touchdowns, and added 19 catches for 296 yards and 4 touchdowns.
TTB Rating: 57

Taylor committed to Michigan back in the old days of December 2015. That was a long time ago. In the meantime, he had a teammate, Jeremiah Holloman, commit to Michigan and then decommit; he transferred schools twice; and the Wolverines played in two bowl games. And yes, I said that he transferred twice. In a seemingly strange situation, the Covington (GA) Newton high schooler spent his senior season at powerhouse Loganville (GA) Grayson and then transferred back to Newton for his final semester. He and Grayson basically rented each other for a season.

Taylor will arrive on campus this summer behind a good-sized group of running backs. Chris Evans, Ty Isaac, Karan Higdon, and Kareem Walker will likely be ahead of him, which won’t leave many snaps for true freshmen like Taylor and O’Maury Samuels. Sure, one or both of those young guys might get snaps, but probably not in critical situations. I imagine Taylor will get some playing time, because he’s in good shape physically and a tough runner.

Prediction: Backup running back; 5 carries, 20 yards