Redshirt freshman linebacker Charles Thomas has entered the transfer portal. Thomas committed to Michigan in June of 2017 as a part of the class of 2019 (LINK). Despite some early optimism, I gave him a TTB Rating of 69 largely because he just can’t run very well (LINK).
Hit the jump for more on Thomas’s departure.
As for his place on the depth chart, I heard nothing about him during the 2019 season. Then I heard some bits this spring about the coaching staff liking his physicality. And then as the summer/fall progressed, I went back to hearing nothing.
Let me also just throw out a reminder that Thomas attended three high schools: Langston Hughes in Georgia, IMG Academy in Florida, and St. Thomas More in Connecticut. I can understand transferring to IMG Academy because of the experience of playing in those facilities, playing their competition, getting that level of coaching, getting to play on ESPN, etc. But if you’re a high schooler who plays at three or more high schools, I have a hard time believing you will start and finish your college career at Michigan.
While I did not expect much from Thomas, this departure thins out a group already lacking depth and experience. Aside from the presumed starting linebacker trio of redshirt junior Josh Ross, redshirt sophomore Cameron McGrone, and redshirt sophomore Michael Barrett, the position has just sophomore Anthony Solomon, redshirt freshman Joey Velazquez, true freshman, and walk-ons. I can’t remember a time off the top of my head where there were so few players in their fourth or fifth year at linebacker, a spot where experience and strength are highly valued. Thomas himself was only a redshirt freshman, but the overall lack of numbers is a little concerning.
In the past ten months, Michigan has lost Jordan Anthony (transfer), Devin Gil (transfer), Jordan Glasgow (NFL), Khaleke Hudson (NFL), Osman Savage (transfer), and now Thomas (transfer) from the linebacker group alone. I do not think this is a sign of trouble within the program. It just seems to be a series of unfortunate coincidences. Anthony in particular seems to be the biggest loss, because he would presumably be the #3 inside linebacker in 2020, behind Ross and McGrone.
Here’s a breakdown of the 2021 scholarship count without Thomas (LINK).
You need to login in order to vote