Michigan running back C.J. Stokes has entered the transfer portal. This past season was his second season in the program, and he redshirted, so he will have three seasons to play three seasons. He was a 3-star, the #63 running back, and #797 overall in the 2022 recruiting class out of Columbia (SC) Hammond. I initially gave him a TTB Rating of 59 before bumping him up to a 71 at the end of the cycle.
Stokes got a lot of playing time as a freshman. He ran 55 times for 273 yards and 1 touchdown, and he also caught 1 pass for 15 yards, while playing in eleven games. But toward the end of the season, Kalel Mullings switched from linebacker to running back and started to take some snaps. That carried over into the 2023 campaign.
During the current 2023 season, Stokes played in just two games and ran 2 times for 6 yards. He did have injury issues that caused him to miss a chunk of time. Either way, though, he appeared to have lost ground to Mullings.
I liked what I saw from Stokes during his time at Michigan, but he needed to continue getting stronger and working on some fundamental things, such as getting his shoulders square to defenders. I think he can go somewhere and still have a productive career.
Looking ahead to 2024, Blake Corum could technically return (if he uses the COVID year exemption) but will almost certainly be heading to the NFL. Donovan Edwards expressed before the season that he planned to jump to the NFL, but his season did not go according to plan. And Mullings played a good-sized role with 32 carries for 195 yards and 1 touchdown, possibly earning him the chance to be a starter next season. Edwards and Mullings could make a nice 1-2 punch in 2024 if both decide to return.
Potential depth chart for 2024 (according to seniority):
- Kalel Mullings (RS Sr.)
- Donovan Edwards (Sr.)
- Tavierre Dunlap (RS Jr.)
- Cole Cabana (RS Fr.)
- Ben Hall (RS Fr.)
- Micah Ka'apana (Fr.)
- Jordan Marshall (Fr.)