Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2011

Ex-Wolverines: Class of 2011

April 13, 2021
Blake Countess (image via Alchetron)

Here’s a look back at the recruits who did not pan out for Michigan in 2011, the transition class between Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke.


Chris Barnett – Tight end – Hurst (TX) L.D. Bell
Barnett was an outstanding tight end coming out of high school.  He tore his ACL during his senior year and struggled to regain his playing shape.  When he arrived at Michigan in the summer of 2011 for his freshman season, he weighed 278 lbs.  By late August the distance from home, the summer classwork, and the required physical conditioning forced him to leave the program and re-evaluate his options.  He enrolled at a Texas junior college, but left that program.
Current status: Unknown

Russell Bellomy – Quarterback – Arlington (TX) Martin
After the decommitment of Kevin Sousa in December 2010 (see below), Michigan was scrambling for a more traditional quarterback, whereas Sousa had been a dual-threat guy. He was previously committed to Purdue, but that changed when Michigan came calling. He redshirted in 2011. Then he played in five games in 2012, including stepping in for Denard Robinson against Nebraska, which was an ugly performance (3/16, 38 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT), and stuck around through 2014. Altogether, he was 4/23 for 46 yards and 4 interceptions at Michigan. He transferred to UTSA as a senior in 2015, completing 4/10 passes for 39 yards and rushing 7 times for 21 yards.
Current status: Out of football

Greg Brown – Cornerback – Fremont (OH) Ross
Brown was the first commitment of the 2011 class after choosing the Wolverines in September of 2009.  He enrolled early in January 2011, but was one of those kids who was caught in the middle between Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke.  Rodriguez recruited him, but he wasn’t fired until January, when Brown was already on campus.  The cornerback received mixed reviews in spring practices and played sparingly on special teams at the beginning of the 2011 season, but decided to transfer mid-season.  He played sparingly for Findlay in 2012, then transferred to Iowa Central Community College prior to the 2013 season.
Current status: Out of football

Hit the jump for more.

Tamani Carter – Safety – Pickerington (OH) Central
Carter was the first player to commit to Brady Hoke after Hoke was hired in January 2011.  He redshirted as a true freshman and was suspended for part of spring practices in 2012 for a minor legal tiff, along with safety Josh Furman. Carter left the team prior to fall 2012 and did not resurface anywhere else, as far as I know.
Current status: Out of football

Blake Countess – Cornerback – Olney (MD) Good Counsel
Countess was a standout player early in his career at Michigan, making his departure somewhat confusing. He was an ESPN and Big Ten Network Big Ten All-Freshman member in 2011 (44 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 6 PBUs) before tearing his ACL in the 2012 season opener. He returned in 2013 to make 46 tackles, 2 TFLs, and 6 interceptions (1 returned for a touchdown), earning First Team All-Big Ten honors. He made 24 tackles and 3 pass breakups in 2014 in a year that saw him fall off, and he transferred to Auburn for 2015, which happened to be Jim Harbaugh’s first year at Michigan. He made 71 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, and 11 pass breakups in 2015. He was picked in the 6th round (#196 overall) by the Rams and played in 43 games for them from 2016-2018, making 50 tackles and 2 interceptions, plus averaging 24.7 yards/return as the kickoff returner in 2018. He played in six games for the Jets in 2019 and does not appear to be in the league anymore.
Current status: Out of football

Justice Hayes – Running back – Grand Blanc (MI) Grand Blanc
Hayes redshirted at Michigan in 2011 before embarking on a career as a backup running back. He ran 18 times for 83 yards and 1 touchdown in 2012. He added 2 carries for 6 yards and 6 catches for 40 yards in 2013. Then he ran 48 times for 213 yards and caught 11 passes for 65 yards in 2014. Finally, he transferred to Southern Mississippi, where he ran the ball 52 times for 204 yards and 2 touchdowns, adding 4 catches for 49 yards. Altogether, he had 120 carries for 506 yards and 3 touchdowns; plus 21 catches for 154 yards.
Current status: Out of football

Keith Heitzman – Defensive end – Hilliard (OH) Davidson
Heitzman joined Michigan as a lightly recruited defensive lineman. After redshirting in 2011, he spent the next two years as a backup defensive end, totaling 15 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. In 2014 he would move to tight end, making 2 catches for 32 yards and 1 touchdown during his final year in Ann Arbor. Dropping down to the MAC in 2015, he spent his grad transfer year with the Ohio Bobcats, making 22 catches for 288 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Current status: Out of football

Kellen Jones – Linebacker – Houston (TX) St. Pius X
Jones was a solid recruit and seemed like a solid student and individual.  Throughout the coaching change from Rich Rodriguez to Brady Hoke, he stayed pretty strongly committed to the Wolverines.  He enrolled at the University of Michigan in June, but left the school in July for undisclosed reasons.  After transferring to Oklahoma, Jones played mostly special teams and made 9 total tackles as a true freshman in 2011.  When his freshman season ended, he decided to transfer again, this time to Clemson, where he totaled 24 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 1 sack in 2013-2014. He made 1 tackle for loss while playing in two games for Wisconsin 2015, bringing an end to his college career. In summary, Jones was at various times enrolled at four (4!!!) Power 5 schools (Michigan, Oklahoma, Clemson, Wisconsin) and walked away with 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 1 sack in five years.
Current status: Out of football

Thomas Rawls – Running back – Flint (MI) Northern
Rawls ran 13 times for 79 yards as a freshman in 2011. Then in 2012 he rushed 57 times for 242 yards and 4 touchdowns. He ran the ball just 3 times for 12 yards in 2013 but decided to transfer to Central Michigan as a grad transfer. For the Chippewas in 2014, he ran 210 times for 1,103 yards and 10 touchdowns. That season was almost derailed when he participated in stealing a purse from a woman at a casino, but he was able to work his way back on to the team. He went undrafted in 2015 but had a mini-breakout as a rookie for the Seattle Seahawks, rushing 147 times for 830 yards (5.6 yards/carry) and scoring 5 total touchdowns. Unfortunately, his production dwindled from there, rushing 109 times for 347 yards (3.2 yards/carry) and 3 touchdowns in 2016 and then 58 times for 157 yards (2.7 yards/carry) in 2017. He played in one game for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2018 but did not touch the ball.
Current status: Out of football

Chris Rock – Defensive end – Columbus (OH) DeSales
Posada committed to Rich Rodriguez and stuck with the program through the hiring of Brady Hoke. He redshirted as a true freshman in 2011 but departed in May 2012. Rock reappeared as a walk-on defensive tackle at Ohio State for the 2013 season but played in just one game and did not get on the field in 2014. He did not return for the 2015 season.
Current status: Out of football


Chris Bryant – Offensive guard – Chicago (IL) Simeon
Bryant was a big-time – and physically large – recruit who suffered injury issues. He redshirted in 2011 and also did not play in 2012. As a redshirt sophomore in 2013, he started two games and played in three; ultimately, knee issues ended his career after that 2013 season. He then went on to help within the recruiting department.
Current status: Director of High School Relations

Antonio Poole – Linebacker – Cincinnati (OH) Winton Woods
Poole was on the team in Ann Arbor for two years, retiring after the 2012 season due to persistent shoulder injuries. He continued at Michigan as a student assistant and then became a recruiting assistant for the Wolverines.
Current status: Out of football

Tony Posada – Offensive guard – Tampa (FL) Plant
Posada committed to Rich Rodriguez and stuck with the program through the hiring of Brady Hoke in January.  However, he arrived in Ann Arbor weighing 340 lbs. and was vastly out of shape.  His departure was announced on August 22, only a couple weeks into his freshman season.
Current status: Out of football


Shawn Conway – Wide receiver – Birmingham (MI) Seaholm
Conway committed to Michigan in the spring of 2010.  However, it became clear that he would not qualify academically to be admitted to Michigan, so he attended Butte College in Chico, CA.  As a freshman he had 28 receptions and 7 touchdowns. He got in some legal trouble, and as far as I know, he did not resume his football career.
Current status: Out of football

Dallas Crawford – Cornerback – South Fort Myers (FL) South Fort Myers
Crawford was a stellar high school quarterback and safety that Rich Rodriguez and his staff recruited successfully. Crawford committed to Michigan and the hope was that he could help recruit his high school teammate, star receiver Sammy Watkins. But when the coaching staff was fired in early January, Crawford got cold feet and signed on to play for Miami, his childhood favorite. Crawford redshirted as a freshman in 2011 and won the Scout Team Player of the Year for Defense. As a redshirt freshman in 2012, he played running back, ran 6 times for 23 yards, and went 1/2 passing for 29 yards. In 2013 he carried the ball 137 times for 558 yards and 12 touchdowns, plus he caught 20 passes for 171 yards and 1 touchdown. In the spring of 2014 he switched to safety and played out his career there through 2015. He finished his career with 581 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns; 20 catches for 171 yards and 1 receiving touchdown; and 87 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 2 pass breakups, and 1 fumble recovery. He did not get drafted but is now a defensive assistant at Miami.
Current status: Coaching at Miami

Jake Fisher – Offensive tackle – Traverse City (MI) West
Fisher was a 6’7″, 260 lb. tight end in high school who was clearly headed for offensive tackle. He was athletic and a good blocker. Fisher committed to Michigan in summer 2010. But when Rich Rodriguez was fired in January, Fisher started looking at other schools, unsure of whether he would fit in with new coach Brady Hoke’s offensive system. Despite several visits from Michigan coaches, Fisher chose the Oregon Ducks on National Signing Day. Fisher played as a backup offensive tackle and guard in 13 games as a freshman, and was a starter for Oregon in his sophomore through senior seasons. He was named an All-American by the FWAA in 2014. The Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in the 2nd round (#53 overall) in 2015 and he played for them through 2018. He tried to transition to tight end with the Buffalo Bills in 2019, but he was released.
Current status: Out of football

Matt Goudis – Kicker – West Hills (CA) Chaminade-Madonna
Goudis was offered by the Wolverines to shore up their kicking game, even though Michigan already had two scholarship kickers (Brendan Gibbons, Will Hagerup) on the roster.  Goudis flipped from being a Boise State commitment to a Wolverine.  Rumor has it that Goudis was expecting Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh to get the Michigan job, so when Brady Hoke was hired, Goudis changed his commitment again and became a Miami Hurricane.  He redshirted as a freshman in 2011 and sat on the bench in 2012. As a redshirt sophomore in 2013, he was 13/17 on field goals and 57/57 on extra points. He played in two games in 2014 before a back injury ended his career, and he left the team prior to the 2015 season.
Current status: Out of football

Kevin Sousa – Quarterback – Orlando (FL) Lake Nona
Sousa was somewhat lightly recruited early in his career.  Having played soccer as a kid, Sousa first took up football as a sophomore in high school.  Furthermore, he was part of a fledgling program at Lake Nona High School, whose team performed poorly in its first seasons.  Sousa committed to Michigan in June 2010, but Michigan’s coaches – under Rich Rodriguez – continued to recruit other quarterbacks, despite telling Sousa that he was their guy.  Sousa decommitted from Michigan and chose Wake Forest instead.  He redshirted as a freshman in 2011 and was a backup in 2012 before converting to wide receiver in 2013. He transitioned back to quarterback in 2014, but then he was arrested for drunk driving and suspended indefinitely, which ended his career.
Current status: Out of football

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