Hayden Moore, Ex-Wolverine

Tag: Ex-Wolverines

1May 2024
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Hayden Moore, Ex-Wolverine

Hayden Moore (image via Twitter)

As has become the trend in recent weeks, another linebacker has entered the transfer portal. This time it’s rising second-year player Hayden Moore.

Moore was a 247 Composite 3-star, the #94 linebacker, and #1166 overall in the class of 2023. He was originally committed to Nebraska, but the Wolverines swooped in late and notched a commitment from him in mid-December of 2022, just before National Signing Day. He did not play in any games, but he was named Defensive Scout Team Player of the Week four times during his freshman year.

The depth chart at linebacker has been problematic for young players who don’t see a clear path to playing time. Two juniors are slated to start this fall in Ernest Hausmann and Jaishawn Barham, and there’s a new linebackers coach in town. At one point Michigan had ten (10!!!) scholarship inside linebackers on the roster when the team only plays two at any given time, which is kind of the equivalent of having 25 scholarship offensive linemen or 15 scholarship wide receivers for an 11-personnel team.

Moore is the third linebacker to enter the portal in the last week, joining classmate Semaj Bridgeman and 2024 signee Jeremiah Beasley. From the 2023 class, Moore joins Bridgeman, CB Cam Calhoun (Utah), WR Karmello English, OG Amir Herring, and CB D.J. Waller, Jr. (Kentucky) as transfers one year after hitting campus.

29Apr 2024
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Semaj Bridgeman, Ex-Wolverine

Semaj Bridgeman

Rising second-year linebacker Semaj Bridgeman has entered the transfer portal. Bridgeman was a 247 Composite 4-star, the #26 linebacker, and #302 overall in the class of 2023 when he came out of Philadelphia (PA) Imhotep.

Bridgeman did not play in any games last fall as the Wolverines made a run to a national championship. Michigan lost starters Junior Colson and Michael Barrett to the NFL, but their replacements are two transfers: Ernest Hausmann (Nebraska) and Jaishawn Barham (Maryland). Furthermore, the coaching staff is rumored to be looking at adding at least one more linebacker for depth purposes.

Looking back on his time being involved with Michigan, he was disappointed when recruiter George Helow was not retained. Then he was coached by Chris Partridge, who was fired in the wake of the Connor Stalions cheating scandal. Then he was coached by analyst Rick Minter for the remainder of 2023 after Partridge’s firing. And now there are rumors that the coaching staff, including new linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary, is trying to recruit over some of the backup linebackers. So one can definitely see why there might be some frustration and a desire to start fresh somewhere else.

Bridgeman is the second linebacker to enter the portal in the last week, joining 2024 signee Jeremiah Beasley. From the 2023 class, Bridgeman joins CB Cam Calhoun (Utah), WR Karmello English, OG Amir Herring, and CB D.J. Waller, Jr. (Kentucky) as transfers one year after hitting campus.

25Mar 2024
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Karmello English, Ex-Wolverine

Karmello English

Rising sophomore wide receiver Karmello English is no longer a part of Michigan’s football program and is headed to the transfer portal. English played in six games last season. He caught 1 pass for a 4-yard touchdown and returned 1 punt for 8 yards.

English was a 4-star, the #26 wide receiver, and #189 overall in the class of 2023. I gave him a TTB Rating of 82 (LINK).

English was the highest rated of Michigan’s three wide receivers in 2023 (four if you include QB-turned-WR Kendrick Bell), but he was very clearly the lowest on the depth chart (except for Bell). Fellow freshman Semaj Morgan became a key component of the offense down the stretch, and classmate Frederick Moore played quite a bit as well. Meanwhile, English played in just six games, none of them after October. Perhaps the depth chart was an issue, and perhaps English just wants to play closer to home.

Michigan lost two receivers to the NFL this off-season (Roman Wilson and Cornelius Johnson) and isn’t bringing in any game-ready prospects in 2024, so I assume the Wolverines will be in the market for a receiver or two via the transfer portal. Channing Goodwin and I’Marion Stewart are both solid prospects, but neither one is expected to be an immediate star. While Tyler Morris and Morgan have both shown promise, the receiving corps is made up of mostly small wideouts who are short and intermediate targets, but the downfield speed and size are somewhat lacking with this roster.

English is the second member of the 2023 class to depart, following cornerback Cam Calhoun, who transferred to Utah.

20Feb 2024
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Keon Sabb, Ex-Wolverine

Keon Sabb

Rising redshirt sophomore safety Keon Sabb entered the transfer portal last week and, as of this weekend, has found a destination at Alabama.

Sabb was a member of the class of 2022, and I gave him a TTB Rating of 84 at the time of his commitment (LINK). He was a 4-star, the #9 safety, and #84 overall in his class. He was listed at 6’1″ and 208 lbs. this past season and played a key role on Michigan’s defense, starting five games and making 28 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 2 interceptions (returned 56 yards, including for 1 touchdown), and breaking up 7 passes. That came after a freshman season where he played in just four total games.

Sabb was going to be a key part of Michigan’s secondary once again in 2024, but both Rod Moore and Makari Paige are returning to Michigan. Moore and Paige were somewhat expected to announce for the NFL after this past season, and Sabb surely would have slipped in there at one of the safety positions. But with both returning, there’s a good chance that Sabb would have been squeezed for playing time once again. He would have played, but how much?

Now Michigan has to hope that another young defensive back can step up. For whatever reason, the defensive backfield has been hurt by transfers this off-season, including cornerbacks Amorion Walker (Ole Miss) and Cam Calhoun (Utah). The next guys in line to play more would likely be third-year guy Zeke Berry or second-year player Brandyn Hillman.

As for Sabb’s future, he will likely play a starting role, especially since Alabama lost Caleb Downs to Ohio State in free agency. It’s just a little odd that Sabb will be playing for a team (Alabama) Michigan beat in the Rose Bowl and for a coach (former Washington head man Kalen DeBoer) whom Michigan beat in the national championship game.

Michigan has previously offered Sabb’s two younger brothers in 2026 safety Amari Sabb and 2027 athlete Xavier Sabb.

Keon Sabb is the sixth member of the 2022 class to transfer, joining Walker, WR Darrius Clemons (Oregon State), S Damani Dent (Charlotte), LB Deuce Spurlock (Florida), and RB C.J. Stokes (Charlotte).

12Feb 2024
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Joey Velazquez, Ex-Wolverine

Joey Velazquez

Michigan linebacker Joey Velazquez has left the program and will play for Ohio State as a walk-on going forward.

Velazquez entered the transfer portal after the season, which was not particularly surprising. Since entering the program in 2019, Velazquez had played in just 20 games over that span (0 in 2023) with 8 tackles and 1 fumble recovery during that stretch.

Velazquez was a 3-star, the #86 safety, and #1024 overall in the class of 2019. He was recruited by Don Brown for the “Viper” position that no longer exists in Michigan’s defense. At 6’0″ and 222 pounds, he fits the athletic shape of a Viper, but he never fit in to Michigan’s defense as it’s been since 2021. Doubling as a baseball player, he had a better career on the diamond than he did on the gridiron at Michigan.

However, it appears that Velazquez will not play baseball at Ohio State and will instead focus on football, which is odd since he’s very inexperienced for a rising sixth year senior. Perhaps he just wants to be closer to home and perhaps hop on board for a potential national championship with the Buckeyes, who have spent a bunch of money to make some roster upgrades this off-season.

Velazquez is the first football player to transfer to Ohio State since defensive lineman Chris Rock left the Wolverines following the 2012 season and played for the Buckeyes from 2013-2014. But probably the most famous departure was offensive lineman Justin Boren, who ditched Michigan during the Lloyd Carr-to-Rich Rodriguez transition.

This does not affect Michigan for 2024, since Velazquez was not expected to play much of a role and was already a fifth year senior.