Rising fifth year linebacker Devin Gil announced on Tuesday that he would be transferring elsewhere for his final year of eligibility.
Gil was a part of the 2016 class that brought teammates Gil, Josh Metellus, and Devin Bush, Jr. from Charles P. Flanagan High School to Michigan. He was a 3-star, the #67 safety, and #997 overall. I initially gave him a TTB Rating of 58 (LINK) and bumped it up to a 63 after his senior year (LINK).
Rising fifth year senior Tru Wilson announced on Twitter that he plans to become a graduate transfer at another school in 2020. Wilson is listed at 5’11” and 200 lbs. He was tied for the third-most carries on Michigan’s team in 2019 (44 carries, 221 yards, 1 TD).
Wilson came to Michigan as a preferred walk-on in the 2016 class after being named a Semper Fi All-American. It’s rare that an All-American of that sort has to be a walk-on, but he spurned offers from the service academies to pay his own way to Ann Arbor. He found his way onto the field by being a solid pass blocker and a dependable runner (107 attempts, 586 yards, 2 TD), even though his speed was lacking. One of the best things he did was spell Michigan’s top backs during blowouts or against lesser teams, so the top guys could get a breather and stay healthy.
Heading into his fifth year, Wilson’s talents were somewhat redundant. Michigan has the pass blocker in Zach Charbonnet, who will be just a sophomore. Michigan has the reliable between-the-tackles guy in Hassan Haskins, who will be a redshirt sophomore. Add in potentially dynamic freshman Blake Corum, a Chris Evans returning from academic issues, and scatback Christian Turner, and the Wolverines have decent depth at the position.
Still, it was an odd career arc from Wilson:
High school All-American
1 carry for 1 yard in 2016
Redshirt in 2017
Key backup role in 2018
Declared starter going into 2019
Broken hand in 2019 pre-season
T-3rd most carries on team
Here are some highlights of Wilson’s 2018 season for those of you yearning for some football video:
Rising redshirt junior Jaylen Kelly-Powell has chosen to exit the Wolverines’ program by entering his name in the transfer portal. Kelly-Powell is listed as a 6’0″, 180 lb. defensive back. He has played in twenty career games with 7 tackles to show for it.
Here’s what I said about Kelly-Powell when he committed to the Wolverines (LINK):
Overall, I like Kelly-Powell as a safety but don’t see him being a star. He’s not athletic enough to be a standout, but he can play nickel corner or strong safety. He’s not a guy you want playing in a ton of space, but he can blitz, stop the run, and cover. I think he’s somewhat similar to current Michigan sophomore Tyree Kinnel.
Kelly-Powell disappeared for long stretches of his career at Michigan, and there was virtually no buzz about him coming out of practice. He bounced between corner, safety, and nickel, and it’s rare that a player who bounces around becomes a viable option at any of those spots. When I watched Kelly-Powell on the field at Michigan, he just didn’t have any juice. He was a step slow, and he’s still listed at 180 lbs. after his third year of college.
This does not really affect the defensive back depth chart because Kelly-Powell was not much of a factor. Michigan is now down to 86 players slated to be on scholarship in 2020 (LINK). That number may drop down below 85 before Michigan accepts some transfer options as they continue to look to shore up some of their weakness on the offensive and defensive lines, in particular.
Rising senior wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones declared for the NFL Draft on Friday afternoon.
Peoples-Jones is listed at 6’2″ and 208 lbs. on the 2019 roster. He reportedly ran a 40 time in the 4.4s coming out of high school. He was a 5-star, the #1 wide receiver, and #12 overall in the 2017 class, ranking as Michigan’s sixth-highest ranked recruit in the modern recruiting era (LINK).