Ian Bunting, Ex-Wolverine

Ian Bunting, Ex-Wolverine

January 30, 2018

Tight end Ian Bunting, who just finished his redshirt junior season, announced that he intends to transfer for his fifth and final season of college football.

Bunting committed to Michigan in April of 2013 as a part of the 2014 recruiting class (LINK). I gave him a final TTB Rating of 75 (LINK). After redshirting initially, he caught 5 passes for 72 yards in 2015. He followed that up with 5 receptions for 46 yards in 2016 and 1 catch for 6 yards in 2017. Altogether, he totaled 11 catches for 124 yards during his time in Ann Arbor.

Following a year behind Jake Butt, he was always expected to take some time to get a featured spot. He also played a lot of wide receiver in high school, which probably slowed his development a bit. Regardless, I predicted in the off-season that he would have a breakout season this year and lead Michigan’s tight ends in production. Obviously, that never materialized. After a career-best game in the Orange Bowl against Florida State (3 catches, 40 yards), he fell off the map to the point where he was behind several younger guys.

Bunting’s departure had been expected for a while, and I had heard this would happen during the end of the fall semester. Redshirt sophomore Zach Gentry and true sophomore Sean McKeon had moved past him as receiving targets, and redshirt sophomore Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. was used in a blocking role. I am a bit puzzled at the playing time allotted, because I think Bunting is a superior player to Wheatley at the least. For whatever reason, it seemed like Bunting found himself in the doghouse a little bit. It may (or may not) be a coincidence that his place on the depth chart changed for the worse when Jay Harbaugh moved to coaching the running backs, while a new face in Greg Frey came in to coach the tight ends.

Michigan now goes into 2018 with Zach Gentry (RS Jr.), Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. (RS Jr.), Sean McKeon (Jr.), Nick Eubanks (RS So.), Mustapha Muhammad (Fr.), and Luke Schoonmaker (Fr.) on the roster. Here’s a look at the roster numbers for 2018 (LINK).


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1172
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Jan 30, 2018 at 8:16 PM

    I think Bunting is gonna play on Sunday. I also think he had gone as far as he was going to get here. He was never a real eager blocker. He looked a step behind pretty much everybody at times last year, Did some dumbstuff when he was out there. Got real lucky once shoving a guy from behind at the goal line and not getting called for it on a TD play. I’m pretty sure he heard about that one in the film room.

    I think we have three guys that are legitimately more deserving of the snaps … possibly four.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 38
      Joined: 1/2/2016
      Jan 31, 2018 at 5:04 AM

      Why do you think he is going to play on Sundays then?

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1172
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Jan 31, 2018 at 7:42 AM

        He’s got the body, the reach, the hands. Somebody will like him as a receiving TE.

        He got passed here by guys with more of the same skill set he has. I think that he quit on his chances here and mailed it in some. I’d watch him and he’d look maybe not exactly disengaged, but that’s the best word I have for it. Out of whack maybe … behind the play … something.

        Pro rosters are significantly smaller than are college rosters. There won’t be so much daily competition coming up from behind. I think that will help his head

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1046
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Feb 01, 2018 at 8:33 PM

          This is not about his head. He’s just not that good, despite appearances that he should be. He’d have to actually MAKE a pro roster before this helpful lack of competition would even kick in, and he doesn’t have the on-field talent for that.

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