Ex-Wolverine Player Updates: Spring 2021

Tag: Ben VanSumeren

5Apr 2021
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Ex-Wolverine Player Updates: Spring 2021

Zach Charbonnet (image via MLive)

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Jordan Anthony, LB (transfer portal): Anthony has been in the transfer portal for over a year. He last played for Michigan in 2019.

Tarik Black, WR (Texas): Black caught 10 passes for 240 yards and 1 touchdown in 2020. He is returning to Texas for his fifth year of college eligibility.

Zach Carpenter, C (Indiana): Carpenter is listed as a 6’5″, 320 lb. lineman for Indiana. He transferred immediately after the 2020 season.

Zach Charbonnet, RB (UCLA): Charbonnet ran 19 times for 124 yards and 1 touchdown for Michigan in 2020 and signed with the Bruins as a transfer.

Kekoa Crawford, WR (Cal): Crawford is listed as a 6’1″, 195 lb. sixth-year senior for the Golden Bears. He caught 19 passes for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2020.

Devin Gil, LB (South Florida): Gil opted out of the 2020 season and is transferring, though a destination has not yet been announced.

Ja’Raymond Hall, OT (CMU): Hall is retired after having some injury issues.

Hit the jump for more.

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20Feb 2021
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Ben VanSumeren, Spartan

Normally I wouldn’t devote a whole post to the commitment of a former Michigan Wolverine to another school, but this one is special. Because former Michigan fullback/running back/linebacker Ben VanSumeren committed to transfer to the Michigan State Spartans.

Is it okay to dislike VanSumeren now?

Yes. Yes, it is.

Sports are built around rivalries and competition, and VanSumeren could have gone to 127 other programs without much of an issue, anywhere except Michigan State or Ohio State. Instead, he chose to go to the in-state rival. It’s understandable to an extent that an in-state kid (VanSumeren is from Garber High School in Essexville, MI) would want to stay close to home, but if you’re truly a proponent of the University of Michigan, you don’t transfer to Michigan State or Ohio State.

VanSumeren was a man without a position in Ann Arbor. He should have been a fullback, except Michigan basically got rid of that position with the hiring of offensive coordinator Josh Gattis in 2019. Michigan tried him at running back, but 9 carries for 20 yards and 1 touchdown didn’t show much. Michigan tried him at linebacker (7 tackles in 2020), but he was lost. Maybe he would have been better if he hadn’t played three different positions in three seasons.

I don’t wish ill upon Ben VanSumeren or his family, but I do hope he loses every remaining game of his college career.

14Feb 2021
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Ben VanSumeren, Ex-Wolverine

Ben VanSumeren (image via SI)

Michigan linebacker Ben VanSumeren has entered the transfer portal. He would have been a fourth-year player in the fall of 2021, having signed in the class of 2018.

VanSumeren signed with Michigan as a future fullback. But with the move to the spread offense in 2019, essentially eliminating much use of a traditional fullback position, VanSumeren was a man without a position. He spent some time at running back in 2019 and then moved to linebacker in 2020. He did not have much success at either spot. VanSumeren ran 9 times for 20 yards and 1 touchdown in 2019. Then he made 7 tackles in 2020.

Perhaps the most painful part of VanSumeren’s departure is that his younger brother, 2022 defensive tackle Alex VanSumeren, was committed to the Wolverines and then rescinded his pledge a few days ago (LINK).

Michigan now has seen four class of 2018 signees transfer, including VanSumeren, TE Mustapha Muhammad, RB Christian Turner, and CB Myles Sims.

26Oct 2020
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Michigan vs. Minnesota Awards

Michael Barrett (image via MLive)

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Zach Charbonnet. Charbonnet’s first carry of the game was a 70-yard touchdown up the gut on power. He ended up with 70 yards on 4 total carries, so his other three carries netted zero yards, but I would still like to see Charbonnet touch the ball more if/when the game is on the line. Michigan did a good job of spreading out carries to keep people happy and fresh, but we know Charbonnet is tough – and that touchdown run showed more speed than what he had last year. In the 2019 season opener, he broke away against Middle Tennessee and didn’t have the same explosion he showed against the Gophers.

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2Aug 2020
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2020 Season Countdown: #44 Ben VanSumeren

Ben VanSumeren (image via Detroit Free Press)

Name: Ben VanSumeren
244 lbs.
High school: 
Essexville (MI) Garber
Running back
Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
I ranked VanSumeren #48 and said he would be a backup running back (LINK). He played in five games and ran the ball 6 times for 20 yards.
TTB Rating:

Michigan’s transition to the Josh Gattis offense was a positive for a lot of people, but probably not someone like VanSumeren. Brought in as more of a traditional fullback, he was left without a real position on offense. At 6’2″ and 236 pounds, his speed and quickness were lacking as a runner. Though he spent the spring of 2019 getting a lot of reps due to injuries, the season itself saw him finish as the #5 tailback.

The outlook has not changed much going into 2020, and VanSumeren has reportedly made another position switch, this time to linebacker. It’s not clear exactly what role he would fill on defense, but he was rumored to potentially become a pass rusher off the edge, a role that Josh Uche previously inhabited. I do not see VanSumeren having a lot of success in that type of role, but like fellow fullback/linebacker recruit Ben Mason (who has also spent time at defensive tackle), it appears the coaching staff will try to shoehorn him into a role. I would not be surprised to see him line up at linebacker, defensive end, fullback, and/or tailback in 2020, but I would be surprised to see him become a standout at any one of those spots.

Prediction: Backup linebacker